Orthopedic Injections can be either diagnostic or therapeutic. Arthrography uses a contrast injection into a joint to help visualize cartilage tears while therapeutic injections are injections of medications into the joints (usually hip, shoulder, ankle) to relieve pain.
Arthrography is a technique to evaluate and diagnose joint conditions, including disease within the ligaments, tendons and cartilage. It may be indirect, where contrast material is injected into the bloodstream, or direct, where contrast material is injected into the joint. Arthrography may use Computed Tomography (CT) scanning, Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) or Fluoroscopy – a form of real-time x-ray.
Direct arthrography is the preferred method because it is better for distending or enlarging the joint and imaging small internal structures, thus allowing for better evaluation of diseases or conditions within the joint.
Joint injections can reduce inflammation, swelling and pain related to arthritis, prior traumatic injury or both. The injections are performed under ultrasound or x-ray guidance to assure proper positioning of the needle tip. Most procedures take less than 3 minutes and have a very high success rate in treating pain.