Jones Radiology has multiple MRI scanners in metropolitan Adelaide, Mt Barker and Whyalla. We have a highly experienced team of MRI technicians.

More information regarding MRI can be found in the MRI section.

MRI Arthrogram

Sometimes your doctor will request an arthrogram as part of your MRI examination. It is very important to mention this when booking as it requires additional booking of the radiologist and screening unit. This test can only be done at selected clinics.

An arthrogram injection is an injection of contrast dye into a joint to allow better visualisation of internal joint structures during the MRI examination. The study will be reported by a radiologist and the results sent to your doctor.


The joint may be injected in x-ray or ultrasound. The skin will be cleaned with antiseptic. The radiologist inserts a fine needle into the joint of concern using an aseptic technique (strict infection control practices). We use x-ray or ultrasound to guide the placement of the needle safely and accurately into the correct position.

X-ray contrast is usually injected into the joint to confirm that the needle is in the correct location.

For an MRI arthrogram, another contrast (Gadolinium) is also injected to distend the joint. You are then moved to the MRI machine for your scan.

You may experience a feeling of fullness and/or tightness as the joint is distended with fluid, but the procedure is usually well tolerated.

Before your Scan

No specific preparation is required, and you may eat and drink before and after the procedure. If you are on any regular medication or have diabetes and are on insulin, take your usual medicines and diet.

Please tell us if you are on medication to thin your blood (e.g. Warfarin, Aspirin or Clopidogrel), have an iodine allergy, or are pregnant or breastfeeding.

Risks / Side effects

Arthrogram injections are generally safe.

Potential risks include infection within the soft tissues or joints, and  If x-ray contrast is administered, there is a small risk of an allergic reaction. A mild allergic reaction occurs in 1/1000 injections and includes a rash, hives or sneezing. More severe reactions such as difficulty breathing are less common. Severe life-threatening reactions are extremely rare (1 in 170,000).

Other Information

Any discomfort in the joint should settle within 24 hours as the contrast dye is absorbed.
Do not do any strenuous activity for 48 hours after the arthrogram.

Occasionally there may be soreness or bruising at the site of the injection. A simple analgesic such as paracetamol (Panadol) should provide relief if needed. An ice-pack applied to the area may also provide relief. 

Infection is uncommon, but it is a serious side effect. If you notice any fever or redness, swelling, or increased pain at the injection site after the first two days, notify your referring doctor or immediately call the clinic where the injection was performed.

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