Blog - January 2017

Knee Arthrograms: Your Questions Answered!

Posted on January 27, 2017 in general radiology

Your questions answered about… knee arthrograms!

What is it?

  • An arthrogram is a radiology study of a joint where contrast (sometimes called “dye”) is put into the joint with images then taken of the joint.
  • The images can be taken with the fluoroscopy/x-ray system or with MRI or CT.

Why do we do it?

  • The contrast distends (‘slightly expands from within’) the joint, allowing us to see soft tissue structures about the joint better.
  • For the knee, an arthrogram may be requested by your doctor for the following reasons:
  • Chronic knee pain
  • Locking sensation
  • To better assess meniscal tears
  • To evaluate the knee after surgery

How do we do it?

  • We will cleanse your skin at the knee with a solution to make sure we do not introduce infection.
  • Local anesthetic or numbing medicine will usually be injected into the soft tissues to numb the knee - this part burns but the burning only lasts a short time, then you should just feel pressure.
  • We will place a small needle into the joint, using our fluoroscopy machine and low dose x-rays to make sure we get the needle precisely in the joint space.
  • The contrast material is then injected to distend the knee joint - iodinated contrast material if doing a conventional arthrogram or CT or dilute gadolinium, a heavy metal contrast material if being followed by MRI. This will make the knee feel tight.

Do I need to do anything to prepare for the test?

  • No preparation is needed.
  • We will ask for a list of your medications and drug allergies. If you have had a prior reaction to a contrast material, we will discuss the reaction with you and may adjust how we do the procedure.

Are there risks?

  • The main risks from the procedure are bleeding and infection. If you are on blood thinners or aspirin, we will take care to hold pressure longer to prevent bleeding.
  • The contrast material can sometimes cause reactions, but because the contrast material is going into the joint and not your blood vessels, the risk of reaction is very low.

Anything to know after the procedure?

  • The contrast material sometimes irritates the joint causing pain. We recommend applying ice bag to the knee for about 15 minutes 3 or 4 hours after the study is done.
  • There are no restrictions following the procedure.
  • The tight sensation will wear off as the body resorbs the contrast over the next 24 hours. Moving the knee will help.

Image below: Yellow highlights the area behind the kneecap that has been injected with contrast material for the purposes of this MRI.


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Hip Arthrograms: Your Questions Answered!

Posted on January 20, 2017 in general radiology

Your questions answered about…..hip arthrograms!

What is it?

  • An arthrogram is a radiology study of a joint where contrast (sometimes called “dye”) is put into the joint with images then taken of the joint.
  • The images can be taken with the fluoroscopy/x-ray system or with MRI or CT.

Why do we do it?

  • The contrast distends (‘slightly expands from within’) the joint, allowing us to see soft tissue structures about the joint better.
  • For the hip, an arthrogram may be requested by your doctor for the following reasons:
  • Chronic hip pain
  • Locking sensation
  • Suspected tear of the labrum or cartilage lining of the joint
  • Suspected impingement syndrome (abnormal bone/joint shape which causes abnormal stress on the cartilage)
  • To evaluate the hip after surgery

How do we do it?

  • We will cleanse your skin at the hip with a solution to make sure we do not introduce infection.
  • Local anesthetic or numbing medicine will usually be injected into the soft tissues to numb the hip - this part burns but the burning only lasts a short time, then you should just feel pressure.
  • We will place a small needle into the joint, using our fluoroscopy machine and low dose x-rays to make sure we get the needle precisely in the joint space.
  • The contrast material is then injected to distend the hip joint - iodinated contrast material if doing a conventional arthrogram or CT or dilute gadolinium, a heavy metal contrast material if being followed by MRI. This will make the hip feel tight.

Do I need to do anything to prepare for the test?

  • No preparation is needed.
  • We will ask for a list of your medications and drug allergies. If you have had a prior reaction to a contrast material, we will discuss the reaction with you and may adjust how we do the procedure.

 

Are there risks?

  • The main risks from the procedure are bleeding and infection. If you are on blood thinners or aspirin, we will take care to hold pressure longer to prevent bleeding.
  • The contrast material can sometimes cause reactions, but because the contrast material is going into the joint and not your blood vessels, the risk of reaction is very low.

Anything to know after the procedure?

  • The contrast material sometimes irritates the joint causing pain. We recommend applying ice bag to the hip for about 15 minutes 3 or 4 hours after the study is done.
  • There are no restrictions following the procedure.
  • The tight sensation will wear off as the body resorbs the contrast over the next 24 hours. Moving the hip will help.

 

 

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Breast Cancer: Racial Disparities (and How To Change Those)

Posted on January 13, 2017 in mammography

As physicians who specialize in medical imaging- our friends (and neighbors... and kids... and pets) hear us say “annual screening mammogram!” all the time. Better too often heard than too seldom, we believe.

 

While many women need to be reminded to put their health as a priority or to be aware of their risk factors (the biggest of which is being female!)… sometimes the stumbling blocks are more than forgetfulness. It’s about access. Having facilities with hours that can accommodate a busy person’s schedule; access to health coverage of any kind; convenient locations - all these things can be the difference in whether getting screened is possible.

 

We want to do everything we can to help address access issues, sharing our resources to overcome hurdles. In Kansas City, around 40% of women are not getting their annual screenings - a number we are working hard to improve. Recent studies show that in the US, African American and Hispanic women are less likely to have a screening mammogram than whites or Asians. While the reasons behind this are complex, access to breast health care is one issue we can address that may help even the numbers. If women can’t come to us, we can go to them!

 

Here in our metropolitan area we are teaming up with communities and organizations to bridge the gap by going beyond our clinic doors. We are thrilled to be working with the KCPD on this. Diagnostic Imaging Centers’ mobile mammography coach will be at the East Patrol Police Station (2640 Prospect Ave, KCMO 64127) from 9am to 5pm on Tuesday, January 17th.

 

Walk-ins are welcome or schedule a time - together we can work to make sure every woman in Kansas City has access to potentially lifesaving screening.

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