MRI Arthrogram

The scan will take detailed images inside the joint, usually a hip, wrist or shoulder joint.

MRI ArthrogramTo view a PDF you may need to download Adobe Reader.

What is the scan for?

The scan will take detailed images inside the joint, usually a hip, wrist or shoulder joint.

Before your scan

There is no preparation needed for this scan. You can eat and drink normally.

What does the scan involve?

The whole procedure can take up to 1½ hours.

The examination involves injecting a kind of dye into a joint which can be seen on an MRI scan.

On arrival, you will first be asked to report to the x-ray department, where you will be asked to change into a gown.

The dye has to be injected in to the right place and in order to do this, we need an x-ray machine to guide the needle into place.

You will be made comfortable on this table and local anaesthetic will be injected into your skin. The dye will then be injected when the needle is in the right place. It should not be painful, although some discomfort may be felt.  After this you will be taken to the MRI scanner and made comfortable.

About the scan

The MRI scan is very noisy and you will need to keep very still; the scan takes around 20 minutes. If you think you are claustrophobic, please inform us before your appointment.

The noise of the scanner changes as we take different pictures – this is normal. You will be given headphones or earplugs to suppress the noise.

Some people may be worried about claustrophobia while being in the scanner but we can talk to you at all times via headphones.

Having an MRI can make you feel warm. A heating effect has been reported with MR imaging. On very rare occasions this may result in patients receiving a burn. Protocols and procedures are in place to minimise this risk. If you get too hot or it becomes intense, please inform staff.

After the scan

You may feel that your joint is a bit stiff and swollen and you may hear crackling sounds in the joint. It is recommended that you keep the joint moving but avoid vigorous exercise. An ice pack may help with the swelling if it is bothersome. These symptoms usually disappear after 48 hours.

It is recommended that you do not drive for 24 hours afterwards. Having this procedure may invalidate your insurance policy.

There is a slight risk of infection. Should your joint become painful, inflamed or red, you should seek medical advice from your GP or A&E.

If you have any questions, please call us.


Due to the strong magnetic field not everyone is suitable for an MRI scan.

Before your appointment checks will need to be made to see if any of the following apply:

Do you have or have you ever had?

  • A cardiac pacemaker or cardioverter defibrillator
  • A prosthetic heart valve
  • A neurostimulator
  • Aneurysm clips
  • Embolisation coils, or a shunt
  • Stents or filters in a blood vessel
  • An ear implant
  • An implantable pump
  • A gastric band, or ‘pill cam’
  • Subdermal or microdermal piercings
  • Metal fragments in your eye or elsewhere
  • Or think you may be pregnant.

If you have answered YES to any of the above, please telephone the MRI unit before your appointment date.

Please note we have no facility to supervise children whilst you are being scanned.

For more information please telephone 01476 464880 or see the ULHT website, or ask a member of staff.

Scan Results

The radiographers and doctor who carry out your scan cannot give you any results.  These will be sent to the consultant who referred you for the scan.

Once the report of the scan has been received by your consultant, they will send you another appointment to discuss the results.

We wish to provide a high quality service and welcome any comments that would help us to make improvements.

If you wish to change your appointment, please call us on the number below before the day of your appointment.

If you have any questions regarding the information in this leaflet please ring the MRI Department on 01476 464880.

MRI appointment Office

Telephone: 01476 464880

Office open Monday to Friday

9.00am to 5.00pm