All of us know about X-rays and its importance. But very few of us are really knowledgeable regarding arthrography. Although it is quite common and is a process used in radiology clinics, not many of us might know the finer details of the process. Arthrography is an X-ray which is used for imaging joints. Although arthrography is its conventional name, it is clinically also termed as fluoroscopy wherein iodine is used as the contrast material. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is also used in some forms of this type of X-rays.
When this examination is to be conducted, iodine is injected into the joints. The iodine forms a layer on the inner layer of the joints which in the arthrogram looks white and bright. This gives the radiologist complete understanding regarding the working and condition of the joints. The major difference between X-ray and fluoroscopy is that X-rays gives the radiologist the picture of inner organ while with the use of contrast material fluoroscopy can help him observe the different organs in motion and their internal functioning.
In MRI technology as well a contrast material is injected in the joint, but here the examination is conducted with the help of radio frequency pulses, magnetic field and computer. This helps in producing magnified pictures of internal organs, soft tissues, bones and everything which is inside our body. Unlike X-rays, MRI anthrography do not make use of ionizing radiations.
All of us at one time or the other have a fall or get injured. But how to know how deep the injury is, which organ is damaged and which needs more treatment and healing. Even doctors can’t make perfect diagnosis without the aid of X-rays and anthrography. That’s the reason why whenever you are injured, the first thing your physician asks you to do is bring your X-ray reports from the radiologist. Only then the treatment is started. In case of anthrography, it is mostly used to find out the abnormalities in hip, knee, ankle, wrist and shoulder. There are many reasons to develop pain in joints, sometimes its a physical injury or could be due to inflammation. The result of this examination procedure gives your orthopedic clear idea as to where the trouble is and what is needed to be cured.
When you are asked to undergo this examination, you have to go prepared to the radiologist. There is not need to stop eating or fasting, you can eat food and fluid as per your liking. But you should first hand inform your radiologist about all the medicines you are taking and whether you are allergic to iodine or not. The gadolinium component specially used in the MRI method does not have iodine and hence do not cause any allergy. So, depending upon the anthrography method you are following you should take the essential precautions and go ahead with the examination.