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what does an arthrogram show?
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what does an arthrogram show?

I am to have an arthrogram done on my shoulder for a suspected labral tear. My question is how big of an area does this test show? I have a lot of pain at my collar bone (as well as in the shoulder) and am wondering if this area is included in the test. Also I have an anaphylactic reaction to shellfish, can this test be done on me? (I will be driving about 2 hours to get this test done and don't want to get there to be told it can't be done)
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Avatar_dr_m_tn
Hello!

An arthrogram is used to check a joint to find out what is causing your symptoms or problems within your shoulder joint. It depends on the area of the scans and the contrast material used.

An arthrogram uses X-rays and a contrast material (such as a dye, water, air, or a combination of these) to take pictures and to understand your joint.

Tell your radiologist about your concerns and about your allergy so that he will keep a steroid or antihistamine shot for emergency.
Pain in your clavicle can also be interpreted by normal X-rays (for any fracture, displacement) and can be correlated clinically by your orthopedician.

Take care!
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Avatar_f_tn
Thanks, I've already had xray and regular MRI and they were normal. Dr is looking for a labral tear. I have pain in the shoulder and clavical, neck and scapula. Do the non dye contrast material work as well?
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Avatar_dr_m_tn
Hello!

The contrast media will be helpful for the joint cavity to diagnose soft tissue injuries like labral tears.

An arthrogram may be more useful than a regular X-ray because it shows the surface of soft tissues lining the joint as well as the joint bones. A regular X-ray only shows the bones of the joint.

Your radiologist will see tendons, ligaments, cartilage and your joint capsule.

Take care!
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Avatar_f_tn
HI,  HOPE U ARE NOT DRIVEN YERSELF AFTER THIS...  I HAD ONE DONE NOT LONG AGO IT WAS VERY VERY PAINFULL,,AND AFTER I COULD HARDLEY LIFT MY ARM TO DRIVE,tHE REASON I HAD ONE WAS BECAUSE 2 MONTHS AGO I HAD ROTATOR AC REPAIR SURGERY AND HAD WORSEPAIN AFTER,,JUST HAD SURGERY AGAIN APRIL 2ND THEY FOUND SURGEON HAD ANCHORED THE SUPERSCAPULAR NERVE TO THE TENDON,,STILL HAVE ALOT OF PAIN HOPEING THERE ARE NO OTHER ANCHOR STICHES IN WRONG PLACE
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Avatar_f_tn
no I don't plan to drive, thanks! I spoke with the radiologist today, he certainly makes it sound simple. He said I should be premedicated for 24 hours prior to test.
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Avatar_m_tn
I am a truck driver. I tore my labrum because my 5th wheel jammed when trying to unhook from my trailer. When the initial incident accured the pain was mind boggling. I was refered to a specialist at Ortho Indy here in Indiana. At first with my symptoms he thought I tore my rotator cuff. He ordered a standard MRI. That came back showing 2 tears in my labrum. He did a scope to repair however once he got into my shoulder he didnt find 2 tears, he found one big tear. Basically if you look at a clock and go from 10 - 4 counter clock wise that was my tear. He found debris in the connection of my collar bone and shoulder joint. He had to decompress the joint, decompress 2 nerves, anchor the labrum back with 5 anchors and scrape the bone. this was Aug 3, 2012. Now its Oct  2012 and I am having complications. I cant lift my arm at the shoulder without excruciating pain. I have been in PT however thats where we think the problem is. I saw a different therapist my second day who did not read my file and began over working my shoulder. My doc order another MRI. The anchors ar still in place however he sees alot of suspicious contrast in and around the anchors. He thinks that the therapist has ripped out all of the cable they use to stitch these anchors in. He has ordered a Arthogram. I will warn you. If you have to have a Labrum repair surgery, this will be the most painfull surgery you will ever have. Make sure you take you pain meds at least an hour before the pain block they will administer wears off. Shoulder pain is the hardest pain to control if it gets away from you.... My doc has me on Norco 10/325 1-2 every 4-6 hrs and Celebrex 200 mg 2 times a day. Be sure you have a comfortable recliner to sleep in. You will need it for about 1-2 months. DO NOT try to sleep in your bed. You will need someone with you at all times for the firs 48 hrs. If you are married or living with someone make sure they have plenty of finger foods for you to eat while they are gone. You will experience numbness in your fingers. Dont worry.. thats normal. You will noticed your bicep knotting up, hard and it will be sore. This is normal.  Before your surgery you might want to suggest Pain Management to your Doc. Your emotions will play tricks on you as well. I went from a go go go person to G. THis is not a pleasant surgery that you are gonna breeze right through. Down time is 6 months. I have kept my sanity by putting puzzles together and finding things to do one handed. If I can be of any help just let me know....
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