MRI Arthrogram...the painful truth

Go here to read about the second, much less painful arthrogram.

I was told I would feel a prick, like a bee sting. I guess if a killer bee dug it’s way into my joint space releasing toxic poison, maybe I could see the connection.

I was not prepared for the pain, like going to have my teeth cleaned and coming out with a root canal. After changing into a gown (sick of them) I met dr. pain on a cold silver table with a sinking feeling that the next few minutes might be terribly unpleasant.

I’d like to interject that a valium or possibly horse tranquilizer would be beneficial when preparing for your MRI Arthrogram. Tear soaked, I recall grumbling something about ibuprofen, but it was too late. The needle pierced into my hip like a fiery sword, digging deeper and pushing harder than I could take, leaving fingernails and feet touching the table.

I watched the contrast dye on the monitor as it injected into my hip, like blood spreading through water, thick and dark. It was surreal, the harshness of it all. I tried to imagine myself in Yoga, focusing on the breath, anything to keep the tears from rolling, but it only reminded me that I can no longer practice Yoga with the impingement; disasterous.

I am sobbing like a baby while being wheeled to the MRI machine. Embarrassed, fearful and terrified of what the next few months may have in store for me.

OK, so MRI? It’s like being strapped down, shoved in a freakishly white cold tunnel with the sound of a New York sidewalk being drilled through your headphones turned on high. This totally freaked me out. It was 30 minutes of the most nerve shattering noises I’ve ever heard in my life. A siren, air compressor, tambourine and kick drum beating, then silence, then sidewalk drilling, my head is still throbbing, another reason to take the Ibuprofen.

Once I looked down, past my FREEZING COLD FEET, I saw what looked like a white room one might stay in while being institutionalized, with a little white horn reminding me of grammar school. Twilight Zone.com. I hated that stupid horn!

It’s over now and I’m limping around, stunned. I’m just getting over the c-section, I’m sick of hospitals, sick of doctors, sick of the smell of band-aids and pretending that needles don’t hurt and being strong enough to take care of my children and trying not to ask for help. I want to be in the gym two hours a day to prepare for this great beach trip I have in two weeks with my girl friends.

Mostly, I’m tired.
Darn horn.
---------------
Just a quick note, 2 weeks later I had an arthrogram on the left hip at a new facility by a more competent doctor and it was an entirely different experience. It hurt, but nothing terrible and certainly not as bad as the one posted above, so if you are scheduled for one, don't let my story scare you. It's NOT supposed to be that bad. Also, I was not in pain afterwards with the second one.

98 comments:

Scatterpillar said...

OK- I'm going to leave a comment :), If you're reading this and about to have an MRI-A I have some good news. It's NOT supposed to hurt like this story reads. I had a bad one, but it seems like a lot of people have bad ones, so I hope that you will be treated with a doctor who is kind and gentle!
-V.

Patrick said...

I'm slated to have MRI-a in a couple of weeks. I went looking for a blog about FAI (which the doc thinks I have, but that's why we're doing MRI-a) just to see if there are more perspectives on the process, procedures, recovery and realtive success. I guess you should be careful what you wish before...your description is scary, but your ps and the post after is reassuring....I've hard MRIs before, but the new wild card is the injection....Oh boy, can't wait ;)

pathservkm said...

I am the mother of a 12 year old girl (former gymnast) that has suffered from chornic hip pain for almost 2 years. She has been mis-diagnosed for 2 years and now has a new dx of pincer hip impingment. She has had 3 MRI's 2 of them with contrast, x-rays on hips, back, knees and ankles. We were told she had a groin pull, stress fractures of her hip and pelvis, juvenille RA, labrum tear, and now this. They believed that she had a torn labrum and/or loose bodies in her hip joint but now they are saying it is FAI. The problem is they are saying she has to wait 2 years for the necessary surgery to repair her condition. This has completeley changed her. She is currently in extreme pain following last weeks 3rd MRI. I am looking for answers and wondering if you have any ideas of websites that may be good for research. I have been unable to find any case studies for anyone under the age of 17. I am so concerned that by waiting more damage is being caused. The risks of the surgery may not outway the risks of waiting. Thanks

Scatterpillar said...

Finding a surgeon you trust and then listening to your gut instinct is going to be your best resource. Go for more than one opinion. I understand how your daughter feels, it is certainly very emotional especially at her age. Unfortunately if she has to wait, she needs to scale down on her activities. I know that's a painful suggestion, but she could hurt herself, you are right.

Has she tried PT? Where are you located? If you are in driving distance to Nashville, TN please try to get an appointment with Dr. Thomas Byrd. Good luck and I'm very sorry for your daughter to have this going on at her age.

margot101 said...

I live and Nashville and my daughter has seen both Dr Byrd and Dr Looney, I was just wondering if anyone had seen either of them and their experience or opinion. I really like Dr. Looney and the time he spent with my daughter we both where so impressed with the time he took to explain and answer our questions he was great. I know Dr Byrd is the Pioneer of arthroscopy so that is also very important. Both are brilliant Drs. My dilemma is do we go with the Dr that pioneered the procedure and most likely has done more of the procedures or the Dr that we had the best rapport with? I would appreciate any insight you have to offer.
My Daughter had the MRI-A in November to try and confirm or rule out a torn labrum, it suggested a torn labrum from 12 o’clock to 2 o’clock. Her 1st Dr didn’t think it is a torn labrum after reading the MRI, so we went for a 2nd opinion, he also thinks what is on the MRI is a natural cleft so they both agree on what they think is the problem and what to do about it. So tomorrow she goes in for another dye and injection to see if they can confirm for sure if it is the labrum or inflammation from a bursa caused by her Iliotibial Band. The start of the problem and pain was from a very bad p/t that had her show him and everyone in the location how she could pop her band. He had her do this about 10 to 15 times which caused severe pain and hasn't stopped since, she never had any pain in her hip before this and she was at p/t for her back (Bulging disc), so be careful with p/t also.
There is no reason or benefit for what he asked her to do except it looks very strange and he had never seen anything like it before and wanted to show all the other p/t’s what she could do. She came home in tears and pain. And now she has been in constant pain from her back and her hip the hip is actually worse than the back.
If the findings confirm inflammation she will get a cortisone injection if not we will schedule her for arthroscopic surgery. The hip condition started the 1st of October. The back condition happened last February after a very bad fall on her back with a heavy grocery cart landing on her at the same time. She just turned 20 in January.
Thank you for any information.

scott said...

I had 2 arthrograms/MRI in 2 days. No discomfort or pain, except for just a little discomfort when the dye was injected in. I did have some subtle discomfort in the days after in the hip joint, I'm guessing because there was a needle stuck in there.

danielle said...

I am scheduled for a MRI-A this week. I called around to a few places, one of them told me that I would need to have a friend or relative with me to drive me home, but the other place mentioned nothing. What is the deal? I am traveling an hour to get this done....do I need someone with me?

Vanessa Lynch said...

Danielle,
YES, YES!!! You absolutely should have someone with you. Both times I was instructed to have a driver. Obviously, if you read this post you know it can be quite painful and stressful. I was shaking and crying on the way home from the first, not to mention I couldn't move my leg.

Don't be afraid though, the second one wasn't painful at all, but I still couldn't have driven. You will need someone there for emotional support as well. This is a lot to be dealing with. Good luck and I hope you find the answers you are looking for (good ones).

And, take some ibuprofen or advil before you go!! In case:)

R. said...

I had one yesterday on my right hip, was told it would not be painful, they'd inject lidocaine and then the needle with die, etc. Honestly, it was awful- maybe they didn't wait long enough I don't know- but later, after the procedure I could not believe the level of pain. I made the mistake of driving myself. Getting to the car was bad but not as bad as it would become. The drive itself was tolerable but - the problem? Once I arrived home and tried to get out of the car I discovered the pain was so extreme I could barely stand or walk. It was like this the rest of the day. Today I'm better but I'm still in pain and afraid to challenge it. oh, I did take ibp. beforehand- meaningless.

Anonymous said...

Sorry, sounds like you got one like my first. I think it all depends on who is doing it and how good they are at it. Did you get a cotisone injection too? If so you will hopefully have some relief coming over the next few days. Seems like it took me about 36 hours for it to start making a difference.

good luck!

D. said...

I had one today. They did not do a lidocaine injection, it was awful. I cannot sleep, nightmares and pain. I has to ask them to stop...they did. Yuck.

Peggy said...

Thank you all for this information! I was scheduled for an MRI-A of Left Hip tomorrow but learned today that my road will be closed for resurfacing, meaning that I will need to walk 0.25 mile up quite a steep hill. Think I will reschedule....... I will keep reading here for updates.

Anonymous said...

Hi.. I have to get this done on 8/5/09. I am terrified of needles.. I am 42, and not so into this at all!!! I guess I just need to ask for prayer.. And thanks for keeping up to date on this..

Caroline Creates said...

Hey guys! I just had this done on Friday. I am not going to lie. It was painful. I highly recommend taking someone with you. My husband came with me and was a huge help. My hip was pretty inflammed and my Dr. said the needle combined with injecting more fluid into an already swollen joint caused the discomfort. Its been 4 days since and I'm still experiencing stiffness. Looks like I am headed to surgery in the near future. Its so worth it if in the long run I get to walk without pain!

Anonymous said...

Just had one. NO issues at all. Mild (and I mean mild) pain afterwards. Odd sensation but thats about it. I can understand that there could be bad ones out there with incompetant doctors but most should be good.

Anonymous said...

I had my MRI-A 10 days ago. The first time that I went in they did not have a radiologist on staff that day with experience in the Arthrogram and they sent me away. The center I went to would not schedule an Arthrogram with their "regular" radiologists, which I took to mean the techs or the inexperienced/new radiologists. I think this was key to my good experience. Although uncomfortable I think it was more "odd" feeling than anything. I can only suggest that you press the center to be sure that the radiologist you see has prior experience with the injections and that they are patient with you if you are scared (I am scared of needles). Good luck to all of you.

Anonymous said...

I am 50 years old and was just informed by the ortho doc that I need one and I've told them I need to think about it. They were pretty blunt and came right out and said it hurst like 2#@#$@. I do not want to have it, especially after reading the posts here, but I don't think I have a choice. What would you all compare it to? Giving birth, toothache, migraine, etc...
Thanks and wish me luck!

Paul said...

I had a MRI-A two days ago and didn't find it as bad. Sure, it wasn't the nicest thing but it wasn't dreadful.
I've written about my experience on my hip blog: http://paulship.blogspot.com/

Anonymous said...

I would HIGHLY recommend taking something before having this done. Valium at the least, or anything with sedating effects that you can convince your doctor to prescribe. Mine gave me a couple valium to take before and it still didn't do the trick. For my second one I had some very very mild IV sedation which had no effect at all. Instead of listening to me and waiting for it to kick in, the proceeded with the injection. Resident (did not know this still afterward) did my second arthrogram and the experience continues to disturb me. I have had two arthrograms (one on each hip), arthroscopic surgery for FAI on my right side in May, and having it done on my left in December.

Vanessa Lynch said...

to the anonymous poster above...i'd compare it to a root canal in your hip. Sorry cause I know that sounds awful. Whether painful or not, you have a sensation of the needle going deep into the joint and then pressure from the dye spreading. In my case and it sounds like others I don't think he waited long enough. And, as it turns out he even did a crap job at taking the images. Having another on the same hip one year later...tomorrow morning. Will let you all know how it goes. I don't know which is worse, not knowing or having to dread it. We will soon see:)

Anonymous said...

I just scheduled my first MRI-A and I was asked if I wanted sedation or not. I said yes, so I will hopefully be in La La Land (that's what she said) and won't know what happened to me. I don't know what 's worng with my hip yet; that's why we are doing it. I would like to know why so many of the comments mention those who had second and third MRI-As???
Isn't one enough? Why does the doctor order a second one so soon?

Vanessa Lynch said...

Anonymous,
In my case the second wasn't soon, but over one year later. Often times an MRI will not reveal a tear...false negative. Especially if the tech is a moron (in my case) or unfamiliar with fai in general. But there are other reasons, maybe it's been a few years and changes will have taken place, maybe it's after an unsuccessful surgery and there is a need to take a second look. I'm not sure that it's common to have more than one in a short period of time...does that help?

Good luck on yours, hope it's pain free and helpful.

Anonymous said...

I just had one of these last week and have to say I was terrified, but it was SO not a big deal. It seems I was extremely lucky and had a great doc. I was trembling at the beginning and made sure he knew I was not s needle person. He must have done a great job with the lidocaine because I felt and uncomfortable feeling and pressure but NO PAIN AT ALL. I am so thankful for that especially after reading all of these posts. Also, when I had the 45 minute mri following the injection they offered me a blanket. If they forget to offer, ask. It really helped. Best of luck to all.

Anonymous said...

I am going for one tomorrow and I am scared I always seem to have the worse case with everything. I hate needles and of all things I was diagnosed with Hemachromatosis 3 yrs ago. The treatment is to give a pint of blood every two weeks to get rid of the iron which will eat your cells, anyway that needle is the size of a coffee stirrer. Before that my thyroid went and I had levels that were only ever seen in people that were dead from it or in a coma so I am not very hopeful. Oh did I mention when my thyroid went and I could barely walk or do anything 3 Dr. told me I needed to go home and exercise and stop feeling sorry for my self that I had that baby blues. The Dr. that finally caught it told me that I would not have lived much longer with a TSH 394.58 Oh and I was told I didn't need anyone to drive me home either. After reading these posts I called my dad for ride. Wow I didn't expect to go on like that but it feels good to talk about it with people that have been through it. I have had horrible pain in my right hip since June I have had ultra sounds, cat scans exrays and even a colonoscopy now after 4 months I finally found a dr. that narrowed it down to either a torn Labrum or a Sports Hernia which is what he thinks it is, and of course the only dr that can fix it is in Philadelphia. I am in NJ not real far but far enough. Oh well Wish me luck. Pattie

Vanessa said...

Pattie,
There is a highly experienced surgeon in NY that treats this condition. His name is Dr. Kelly. Go to the FAI Yahoo group and leave a post asking for good surgeons in your area. Usually you will get lots of names.
And most of us had people and doctors telling us to suck it up. It goes undiagnosed very often so there are many people here who can relate to your pain and frustration.
Good luck to you!
Vanessa

Anonymous said...

I had a MRI-A of my left hip yesterday to rule out a torn labrum with pincer impingement and was scared to death! After reading many posts about how painful this procedure could be, I requested IV-Sedation. (I am a total "wimp" when it comes to needles and pain in general!!!) They told me that they could not "knock me out" but make me "very comfortable and unable to feel pain". I was skeptical about "being awake" but I remember very little about the procedure. I felt NOTHING! The sedation effects lasted about four hours so I was able to basically sleep during the MRI itself. The only downside to this whole procedure, the sedation meds made me very ill. All in all, I'd take that over the pain any day! Definitely sore today but tolerable. I would definitely recommend doing it the way I did if you are a "needle/pain phobe" like myself. FYI - Your doctor must indicate on your script "with IV-Sedation" in order to have it done. Apparently, the procedure must be "dr assisted" as they told me. Hope this provides relief to others preparing to get this procedure done!! Good luck!

Anonymous said...

Hi, I had my MRI arthogram a week ago, after reading all of these posts I was in a panic. The Dr that did mine must have really known his stuff because it was not horrible. It was no walk in the park but I was perfectly still and it was over in a couple of minutes. Maybe it's good I read all of the horror stories because it was better than I expected. It was a sharp quick pain and then it was over. But the next day I could hardly walk my girlfriend works for an orthopedic and she said the dye was causing the pain and it would disapate. It took about 2-3 days and then I was back to my original pain. Well the results were I have a sports hernia thats where the stomache muscle tears from the hip bone. Thier are only a couple of Dr. that can fix it I have an appt in Nov with Dr. William Meyers, as far as the arthogram I had mine done in Horton hospitol in Middletown NY and they do alot of them so make sure you ask if they have done alot with good outcomes where ever you go. There is a hospitol 10 min from my house and the Dr said I would be better off at Horton. That the other place didn't do as many. Good luck and I hope I helped ease your mind a bit.

Anonymous said...

After 18 months of undiagnosed pain/limping/impingment in left hip (at 28 yrs old), have finally had arthrogram. Not painful whatsoever. Mild discomfort and I mean mild!! No pain relief needed at all.

Turns out its a labral tear.

Anonymous said...

My arthrogram was not painful at all.... first, they injected freezing... then the injection of dye... the most discomfort was when they first wiped the area down with a very cold solution that ended up everywhere, including private areas... I had no pain or discomfort after the procedure either...

I am now day 6 post-op from my hip surgery for FAI and a significant labral tear... so far, minimal pain....

angie said...

ok, I have a questions for those w/ hip arthrogram. did any of you have your x-ray come back normal and then the MRI showed something? I have pain in hip, SI Joints, down the leg/thigh for 1.5 yrs. it started in the front of my hip and spread. x-ray is clear. is there any point in the MRI?

also do any of you have pain in low back, SI, leg that was actually coming from the hip issue?

I will do the test if I think it may find something.

the neurologist is ready to do nerve test/EMG which sounds worse so I'm debating asking my regular doctor to order this first if theres a chance this is what i have.

thanks for any replies!!

angie

Vanessa said...

Hi Angie,
Are you seeing an Orthopaedic Surgeon? If not, you should meet with one if you are having these pains. What area do you live in? It is very common to have normal x-ray and there are absolutely things that can only be seen on MRI, like labral tearing. SI, low back pain are very common as well. Down the leg & thigh is too...you need to have it looked at.

Good luck and by the way, meet with an Orth. Surgeon before the MRI who is familiar with FAI, it's possible your practicioner didn't recognize it on the x-ray. Also, the type of MRI you need is specific, so an MRI done incorrectly isn't going to help anyone and is going to hurt you & your pocketbook.

Good luck,
Vanessa

Anonymous said...

I just had a MRI-A today. It has been about 12 hours and now I am having difficulty walking. They used Lidocaine first and then injected the dye. IT WAS THE MOST PAINFUL THING I EVER INDURED. The reason i am even on this site was to see if this pain is typical among others. The doctor had poor social skills. She didn't tell me anything, she just kept pushing the needle deeper and deeper when I thought it was already in and in place. There is no way she did not see I was not having the time of my life. She just kept on doing her thing and talking w/ her intern. I felt like to her, I was just the person providing a hip she needed to teach a lesson. I gave birth before and the pain did not come close to what I experienced today. I hope that I will never have to have that test done again. Absolutely bring a driver with you. I had a limp just walking to my car afterward. My guess is I probably just got really unlucky with an unexperienced doc.

Anonymous said...

I had an MRI-A a year ago and it was the most painful experience I've ever had. The doctor injected the litocane but didn't wait at all for it to even have a chance to kick in before he jammed the other needle in. He then told me to bend my knee and I wouldn't because it was so painful, so he just grabbed it and bent it for me. It was pretty bad! The MRI showed I had a torn labrum so I had to go to a different orthapedic surgeon because my regular one does not do arthoscopic hip surgery. I had 75% of my labrum removed the first surgery and ended up tearing the other 25% about 2 months later. None of this was from an injury. Eventually, once the doctor decided to listen to me, they went in again and completely removed the labrum. But, he said he left a bump thing on the head of my femur that may or may not cause future problems. My hip had just finally, about 6 months after the second surgery, started to be pain free and feel pretty good. Then something happened and I feel like I'm back at square one. I recently had right knee MPFLR and my knee is so much better, but because of my hip, it is starting to affect my knee. I saw my regular orthopedic doctor today and they said they think I have FAI, which is what the MRI showed, but the doctor who did my surgeries said it looked fine when he was in there. Anyway, I'm scheduled for a hip aspiration arthogram/cortisone injection and I'm not looking forward to it. Especially not if its going to be anything like the MRI-A. It's frustrating. And, in my opinion, this problem could have been avoided if the issue was addressed when they took out the rest of the labrum. I don't know, I'm just hoping the cortisone will help...I'm sick of surgeries!

Anonymous said...

First let me say to most of you that I'm so sorry you've had such a terrible experience during your arthograms. 1 year ago I broke the neck of my femur and still have some pain at the top of my thigh. Yesteray I had an arthogram with a pain killing injection. I'm glad I didn't read this site before I went to my appointment because fear can mess with your head & it sounds like the radiologist had a big part in your experience. I too had the lidocaine shot which helped a lot. Everything was explained to me before the procedure, including what I would feel. Ask them to explain it to you. The assistant kept me talking about something unrelated to what was happening and kept asking me questions. This kept me distracted in case I felt anything. Yes the dye was cold, but the reason this is being done out weighs the coldness. Ask for a prescription for pain, if needed, before and/or after the procedure from your doctor. I had no pain yet. I've spoken to others who have. I wasn't asked to bring a driver, others have. Ask before you go if you need one. My radiologist was concerned about me and his assistant was always checking on how I was doing. I was told it could take up to 2 days for the pain killing injection to start working. It's great to read everyone's experiences. It's also good to speak to or write to your health care staff about your bad experience, just like you wrote here. I do. They may have no clue about what you experienced, including the emotional parts and the choices you're making because of what happened. Good luck. Kate

Beth from Long Lake said...

Hello... My hip injection was well worth the 3 minute pain. As soon as I got up from the table the nurse looked at me smiling and said "feel better?" and I thought not at all. Within, 6 hours I could not move my leg or walk. I went to ER and was diagnosed with a steroid flare. They gave me a shot for the pain and within a couple days I was completely pain free for 6 weeks! It was wonderful. I had to wait 10 more weeks for surgery due to my own scheduling and gettin my ducks in line to be out of commission for months. So I asked for anther injection and refused me do to the steroid flare. Has anyone ever had this or denied another shot? Thank you! Beth from Long Lake

Anonymous said...

I'm so glad to read about your pain level during the arthrogram! It was awful. Even though he numbed it twice, I cried, sweated through the sheet underneath me, and made terrible moaning/crying noises. I've experienced pain in the past and wasn't prepare for this b/c they said it would be like a "stick and pressure". Baloney and nonsense. I couldn't even sit up afterward and thought I was going to puke. After deep breathing, a few sips of gingerale, and having the aid of two people I was able to sit-up. Not at all what I expected. Here's my question though-did anyone else have their leg moved during the procedure? He moved my leg around laterally and vertically while he was gazing at the computer monitor. The movement was agonizing and finally I had to yell for him to stop. He did and he left the room. Once I was able to make it to the wheelchair, they took me to have the MRI.

Anyone else have their leg moved during the arthrogram?

Anonymous said...

going for this proceedure next month ,read the info sent out to me and was extremly worried about the injection process so looked on the internet for more info ,after reading these comments i am now terrified really dont know what i am going to do

Anonymous said...

I read this page 1hr before my arthogram mri (today) and became VERY apprehensive. Some of you have had awful experiences...so sorry for you.

I was fortunate enough to have zero pain and minimal after-effects.

No form of sedative, just the anaesthetic and dye injection - done within 5 minutes.

It's not bad for everyone.

Anonymous said...

I had my MRI anthrogram today as well and also had almost zero pain -just a tiny bit when the needle first went in. Really, it was absolutely less painful than a regular flu shot. And the woman who did mine was a student! I think it depends on where you get it done. I don't doubt that some people have bad experiences, but mine was just fine :)

vanessa said...

I've heard that this procedure can be much worse if there is severe inflammation, in my case it turned out to be a very damaged joint. This makes sense because my right hip, which had significant damage and stage 3 arthritis hurt terribly at two seperate facilities, one being a very good doctor. The left hip didn't hurt at all and that hip has very little damage.

I'd be curious to see, can anyone who has had surgery after MRA say if their pain might have been a result of the damage/ inflammation in the joint?

Anonymous said...

I am having this done tomorrow and am so surprised to know this is done without regard to the potential of servere pain. It is 2010 and assumed medicine was more advanced and perfected. Does anyone know why this procedure is not done pain free, or at least asked routinely if you would like to be put under?

KATE said...

I HAD IT DONE 12TH A NIGHTMARE I WOULD NEVER GET IT DONE AGAIN ,I WAS HOPING TO LEAVE A POSITIVE COMMENT FOR ANYONE WAITING TO GO EVERY ONE IS DIFFERENT SO HOPEFULLY YOURS WILL BE FINE. I HAVE WORKED IN THE HOSPITAL FOR 15 YEARS AND HOPE I HAVE NEVER TREATED PEOPLE THE WAY I WAS . IT MADE ME ASHAMED TO BE PART OF THE NHS TO BE TREATED AS IF THEY ARE INVISIBLE IT WAS THE MOST UNCARING EXPERIENCE I HAVE EVER ENCOUNTERED I DONT HAVE MY FOLLOW FOR 4 WEEK TO GET THE RESULTS AND I WILL BE SPEAKING TO THE CONSULTANT ABOUT THIS INVESTIGATION IN DETAIL AS I AGREE WITH THE POSTING ABOVE WHY IS THE PROCEDURE SO PAINFUL I THOOUGH I HAVE BUILT MYSELF UOP FOR THE WORST THEN ANYTHING LESS WOULD BE A BONUS BUT NOTHING COULD HAVE PREPARED ME FOR THAT I AM SO SORRY FOR ANYONE GOING ,I READ ALL INFO GOOD AND BAD WATCHED THE VIDEO BUT I COULD NEVER EVER HAVE THAT DONE AGAIN ,MAYBE ITS JUST THE WAY MY HIP IS I WILL POST BACK MY RESULTS GOOD LUCK IF YOU NEED TO GET ONE AND I AM SO SO SORRY I HAD SUCH ABAD ONE

Paul Mazz said...

I had an MRI Arthogram and it was not bad at all. There was no pain from lidocaine needle and the other one was just pressure and an odd feeling when he finally got through to the joint. On an uncomfortable scale a 2-3 and on a pain scale a 1-2.

Geekydee said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Geekydee said...

Ok,I had my MRI-A done on the 26th. While not painfree, the tech hit my interior nerve bundle with the first dose of lidocaine (leg jumped like a burn on inside of thigh 2/3 down), the anterior nerve bundle with the second (leg jumped like a severe shock around my knee), went for a third time and probably got it right; did not feel a thing. The fun started trying to get to MRI; went to get off table and imagine my surpise when my leg would not move. Oh, it would swing there, like so much dead weight; I think I have somewhat a feeling of being paralyzed now. So, pain-free, I went and got MRI-A done, about 30 minutes all told in the tube and the tech said the lidocaine should be wearing of in a few minutes and the hip might be stiff and sore for a few days. Went to get dressed again and got almost done before I hit the ground. The Nurse and tech were not happy. so, was wheeled out to wait for a ride home, still could not feel my leg. Almost fell twice getting up ito van, and then went home. Get home, fall once on the sidewalk and twice in the yard, then desided "to heck with dignity" and crawled through the front door and to my chair. It took almost 7 hours to get some control of my leg back, still wanted to give out on me (no fine motor control). Went to work the next daywith lots of ibp and 1 vicodin, but overdid it I guess. Stayed home from pain in hip half of Friday and was at work yesterday, but went home in pain. This morning I hardly feel it. I am hoping they figure out why I get the sporadic hip pain (blinding sharp pain in hip, followed by the total loss of muscle control in the leg for a few seconds) causing me to fall; been getting worse in the last month. with around 15 or so falls. Hope this helps others.

Peter said...

hi. i do more than one thousand arthrograms on almost every joint each year, combined with CT and MRI studies. i have developed my own techniques for each joint, and these are not painful proceedures when perfomed properly. the worst problems that patients have are related to insurance based referrals to physicians and facilities based on cost, and not patient experience or outcome of the study. i advise patients to only go to an experienced doctor, and insist that your insurance and hospital cooperate. peter m nefcy md, phd

Anonymous said...

Im so nervous after reading this. Going for my first arthrogram of my L hip Aug. 11th. Had orthoscopic surgery back in Jan. 2003 for labral tear (im a former ballerina) and my hip started bothering me again about 3 years ago. It feels almost like it goes out of socket then a quick sharp horrible jab pain happens out of the blue. Feels like a hooked bone is stuck on something tender deep in my hip and i cannot walk without excruciating pain until my hip "pops"back in(which usually takes about 3 days after the initial pain)...makes a loud pop...feels like a tendon is snapping back into place..relief when that happens. then im fine for about 2 months then it all happens again. Does this sound familiar to anyone here??I want my life back but sick to my stomach after reading all these posts about the mri i need to get next week. Im told the radiologist injects the dye after lidocaine. I was not offered sedation. Im so nervous:(

Anonymous said...

Well since no one has written since my post here i am . It is Aug. 11th. I just walked in the door from my Left hip arthrogram. RELAX everyone!! It is not as bad as written here. I had a wonderful dr. who explained everything. I begged for extra lidocaine which he did give me. The first lidocaine inj. was like a quick pinch then after that all you feel is uncomfortable pressure. I promise !! I am a big baby. You can all do this. Communicate your fears with the dr. It will be ok?? Im sitting here with a stiff hip is all. NO pain.

Anonymous said...

Here i am again. It has been 3 hours since the test and the lidocaine has worn off. Im a bit stiff but that is IT. People dont get scared but what is written here. Everyone has a different pain tolerance. If anything read all the above blogs to make your self scared shitless (like they made me)..which prepared me for the worst and it wasn't at all bad. Im relieved it is over but if i need another one i will not have any fears. Talke with the dr. tell him or her how you are feeling and to please be gentle and give extra lidocaine. It is a piece of cake after the first little pinch. Good Luck to all of you.

Kristi (Anonymous 3 times prior) said...

And one more post. It is the day after and my hip is completely normal feeling. I didnt even take any tylenol or motrin lastnight. My hip was slightly sore and stiff after the procedure which got better and better and by bedtime it was just sore. I woke this am got out of bed and my hip was completely fine. I hope my last couple posts relieve someone's anxieties of this "NOT SO HORRIBLE" test. The painful truth is ...It is NOT so painful !!!

Anonymous said...

I had one of the Hip arthrogram's done back in May this year. It was in the UK, not on the nhs - I was funding this procedure myself. For some reason the doctor said he favoured no local anaesthetic and warned it may be quite painful. It was a bit painful - it twinged a bit when the needle went in - I didn't look to see how long it was, not something I would want done on a regular basis, but was able to walk home afterwards and ok the next day.

Anonymous said...

the needle is an epidural needle..the same that a woman gets for pain relief during labor. After the epidural needle is in the joint space then the dye is injected.

ginasings4him said...

I just had this done 2 days ago. I was so nervous because I've had injections in my neck before that were terrible and that was all I could think about. I told them in advance that I was very nervous and was worried about the pain. I told them I did not want to see the needles.

Ask for extra Lidocaine - I wasn't watching but I believe they were giving me shots of lidocaine at the same time they were putting the long needle in, either that or they were putting lidocaine through the long needle as it made its way down to the joint - I did have some pain about 4 twinges in the joint and when she noticed I was in pain she said she would add more lidocaine. I was uncomfortable with some pain but it was tolerable. By the time they injected the dye I didn't feel anything more. I was sore the next day and still am some today - it feels a bit stiff but not too bad.

militarywife said...

To Angie,

My doctor said that the X-rays very often don't show what the Arthrogram shows...they aspirate first and send the fluid in to check and see if there is any infection or other things going on. They inject the die to see where it flows and to see if it is flowing normal. I had a hip replaced 3/30/09 and with the DePuy device that is on a recall so since I still have some pain, Dr. recommends checking it out. Don't know if I really need this or not, wondering if it could cause more harm than good?

Anonymous said...

I am 28 years old and I'm already had an x-ray and normal mri. They showed nothing. I am getting this procedure done very soon. I am scared to death. I did not like the 1st mri procedure. I asked to be prescribed a sedative. The orthopedic doctor thinks I might have a labral tear in my right hip socket. I have been on crutches for 3 weeks. There was one point I could barely walk I limped so bad from pain from the injury. I have no clue how I did it. Should I be afraid for this procedure?

Anonymous said...

HI EVERY BODY IS AFRAID OF THE UNKNOWN IT IS NATUARAL TO BE AFRAID , I HAD IF ONE MYSELF MY GP GAVE ME MEDICATION TO TAKE BEFORE I WENT BECAUSE I AM SO AFRAID OF NEEDLES , YES IT DID HURT BUT ONLY FOR A SHORT TIME AND SOME DISCOMFORT FOR A FEW DAYS BUT OTHER PEOPLE HAVE LESS PAIN ,I NOW NEED TOTAL HIP REPLACEMENT AS MINE SHOWED UP BONE ADNORMALITIES , I HAD HIP ARTHROSCOPY DONE TO SEE IT IT COULD BE REPAIRED , THEY REMOVED LOOSE CARTLIGE REPAIRED A TEAR AND ALSO DONE BONE FRACTURING AS I HAVE LOSTED ALOT OF CARTLIGE BUT THEY ALSO FOUND ARTHRITIS IN MY JOINT SO CANT RE CONSTRUCT IT SO HIP REPLACEMENT IS ONLY OPTION AT 45 YEARS OLD IT WASNT GOOD NEWS BUT HAVING HIP ATHROGRAMME DOES GIVE THE DOCS A CLEARER PICTURE TO WHATS GOING ON

Anonymous said...

These posts are very helpful - a combination of terrifying but also inspiring...I'm scheduled for a bilateral (both hips) arthrogram the first week of January and now realize I probably need to tell the radiologist I've experienced a steroid flare before for treatment of a torn shoulder labrum. Thank you all for taking the time to post your experience - it really helps the rest of us in line behind you! Austin, TX

Callie said...

I have had 2 or 3 of these on my right hip, I have had labral tears and snapping hip syndrome. I just had one yesterday on my left hip. I honestly cried during my first because it was horrible as described and the second one I ever went in for I cried before they even touched me, but it was a million times better than before. I get nauseas afterwards and am really really sore for a few days. Theses are by no means fun. But I have had numerous regular MRI's but they don't show the tears. Best to have someone drive you afterwards, but I have drove myself. Good luck if you have to go through this. And I never look at the needles! They are really big and you feel a lot of pressure.

Anonymous said...

I am sitting in the lobby post arthrogram. I also had one on my other hip last week. I was soooooo nervous. The gown was soaked with sweat and it was all for nothing. It was uncomfortable but virtually pain free. Only the initial stick to numb the area hurt. The rest is just some pressure in the area. Moral of the story: It doesn't hurt as bad as trying to tie my shoe with FAI.

Anonymous said...

I just had an MRI-A on my hip yesterday. The procedure went smoothly and there was very little pain. Just a small prick and then numbness. When the liquid was being injected I experienced quite a bit of pressure. I could feel it in the hip joint and around my backside.

Afterwards I felt mildly achey and kind of numb. After about four hours the freezing wore off and I felt a dull ache.

Felt ok today and went to work. Not much pain, just some stiffness. As the day wore on, my hip got more and more stiff and definitely painful. I thought this might be due to all the sitting so I tried walking around, standing at my desk, stretching a bit etc..
By the end of the day I could barely walk. Very stiff, and painful. Am now lying down and waiting for advil to save me.

Is this normal?

Anonymous said...

To annonymous above me....I'd like to reply to your comment.

I have had five arthrograms on my right hip and this Friday (May 13th!); I go in for my sixth.

My docs and techs helped me understand why I had WAY MORE PAIN from the Arthro/MRI, than from the arthrograms alone for either steroid injection or initial diagnostic; where they inject lidocaine to see if it takes pain away (which then tells them your injury is isolated to your hip); a small amount of dye for this procedure
An arthrogram for MRI; however, the amount of contrast dye of course is much greater. Some people do not have issues with the dye; but I had the folks in Muscular Skeletal/MRI and the Radiologist explain that the dye and procedure causes a lot of swelling in the hip and tissue...it is NOT unusual for your hip/pelvic pain to feel WORSE and have a lot of stiffness, deep lasting pain and also have sharp/electrical nervey type ZAPS up to 10 days post Arthro/MRI...they stated that it takes several days for our bodies to absorb/rid of the dye.
Some folks don't experience this, but I sure did. Prior to my very first Arthro/MRI, the referring surgeon at that time, told me that I needed to be back in my chair, for 10 days after, due to my being so unstable even on my crutches from my injury...she just didn't want me taking a fall and doing more damage. To me, it really was quite painful and something I'm definitely not looking forward to again, this Friday!

I also want to add in response to some of the other comments from folks, that the amount of lidocaine in Arthro/MRI is much, much less than the initial diagnostic arthrogram. I wish I would have been told this, because my second Arthro/MRI, I sure was expecting to be pain free for the 5 plus hours I experienced from the diagnostic Arthro! Definitely, the opposite!

Hang in there!

Elle in Oregon

Anonymous said...

Hi,Ten years ago had an MRI on my back, didn't feel a think. A couple weeks ago, I had 3 MRI's done, wanted to have all three at the same time. Tech did the top of my back first, then did the hips! YOWZIE, the vibration which is very slight, felt like my hips were being torn apart. It was horrible. I definitely could NOT stay for the third MRI for the lower back. Went back three days later for the third, and it didn't hurt. Guess my hip is in worse shape now that it was ten years ago. OUCH!!! But it had to be done--have disk problems, spinal arthritis and osteoporosis and tear close to my hip.
At least no hip replacement surgery for me--so far.

Heathelin said...

I'm so glad that I'm not alone and feel for all of you who have suffered this barbaric procedure! I had one today and oh my LORD it was insanely painful. As if this injecting the dye procedure was not bad enough when things go correctly, I had endured the injection with only 9 or 10 screams. I was hobbling to the MRI room and the Radiologist comes out and says - we didn't get enough dye into the joint space, we have to do it again. I was shocked. Back on the table I go, barely able to straighten out my leg, and she starts all over again. This second time was like hell on earth. I was almost sobbing in pain by the time she was finally done. Anyone who tell you that an arthrogram isn't that bad either has an extremely high tolerance for pain or they are just flat out lying so you won't be scared. It was torture!

Anonymous said...

Scheduled for artrogram next week and not sure what to expect. Had two in past. One very painful, the second was bearable. Make sure you talk to doctor and make sure they refer you to radiologist that is know for getting it right the first time. One the first one, I had to be injected 3 times because 'intern' couldn't get right angle. Second was done by seasoned professional and little pain. Not a procedure to be an interns pin cusion. Make sure the radiologists has vast experience performing this procedure and it will be fine.

Anonymous said...

I had this procedure done this morning, and to anybody who has been scared or worried by the above comments - DONT BE! It hardly hurt at all.

I drove myself to the hospital as I had to go straight to work afterwards. The initial numbing injection just felt the same as going to the dentist, a bit stingy but nothing more. The doctor then did a second numbing shot which he explained would be deeper, again this caused minimal pain. I was lucky he explained everything he was doing which put me at ease. He then inserted the needle into the joint which was nothing more than slightly uncomfortable and injected a smaller amount of dye - I didnt feel this at all.
The doc then explained he would be injecting the dye for the MRI scan, when this started I could see it on the screen which was really interesting. Again this started off as mildly uncomfy but certainly not painful, as he got towards the end my hip started to feel "full" and it did start to hurt a little, was glad when he said he was finished. I then got off the bed and was taken to MRI, I walked to the scanner unaided and did not find this at all painful, again just a little uncomfy as the joint felt full. The MRI was very noisey but I was given headphones and the 30 mins passed quickly, was hard to keep still for that long - my nose kept itching haha!

I drove myself away from the hosppital and went straight to work, a little stiff but this passed after an hour.

So please dont assume you will have a horrendous experience, for me it was just mildly uncomfy.

Anonymous said...

I had a hip MRI Arthrogram today. It wasn't as bad as it may seem. I've read stories about how painful it is, but my experience couldn't have been better. I worked myself up for it and was stressed out, but after it was over, I thought "That's it?" I haven't gotten diagnosed with a labral tear yet, but I'm pretty sure that's what it is. For any readers that are getting one soon, don't worry. It's nothing more than a normal shot. It may feel weird, but its definitely not bad. My doctor told me what was going to happen step-by-step. Just ask them if you're worried. This was a really easy process, and definitely easier than I thought.

Anonymous said...

I have had hip pain for over a year after a fall. After 9 months of physio I went for the MRI Arthrogram. I can't lie it does hurt. The doctor left the needle in the joint for 15 mins, and put 3 syringes of dye and anasthetic in. MRI itself was fine but tried to get up after to walk and couldn't. Pain continued for 3 days.

Anonymous said...

I had a left hip MRI-A 2 days ago and all I can say is thank goodness for these type of blogs. None of my doctor's prepared me even remotely for that awful experience. Even when I asked the question about pain level they assured me it would be more of a "pressure" feeling but not painful. Liars!!! So what I have learned thanks to all the wonderful posters and now my own experience is: bring a driver with you, wear socks, close your eyes before they put you in the MRI machine and keep them closed if you are claustrophobic, wear loose fitting elastic waisted pants, wear slip-on shoes, do not plan on any activities after the procedure and it might be advisable to prepare to have the following day off work just in case. My pain is now almost back to "normal" but unfortunately no word on results yet.

Anonymous said...

I had a left hip MRI-A last week. The doctor gave me an injection to numb the area. Then he said he was going to give me another injection to numb me deeper. Not a gentle doctor. Then he said he was going to inject the dye. He started to inject it and it felt like he was inserting 100 cc's. It started to hurt and then it started to hurt so bad my leg started raising up. I couldn't control it. I apologized for doing it and the doctor was like - it's ok. My thigh was all the way up - leg bent. The pain was 100 times worse than the pain I have been feeling. It felt like my leg was blowing up. I kept saying how much it hurt and the doctor was like, "Are you okay?" Like something was wrong with me. I just told him it hurts! I told the nurses that I feel like I need to get up and move my leg. So they helped me up and with that it was all going white. They laid me back down and lowered the head of the bed. I almost passed out. I feel like I am a wussy with this although I have had kidney stones and the pain from them almost made me pass out - so to me - this procedure was very painful. The pain did subside within 15-20 minutes. When my doc called me to give me the results he told me that - yes it does hurt. You are putting fluid in this tiny cavity so pain is normal. Wonder if he ever had one? Results are I need to have surgery due to a labral tear. I have read that a lot of people have more issues after they have their labral tears taken care of and that scares me. Oh well - one step at a time.

Unknown said...

For anyone about to have one....I worried about mine for a week or so and it really wasn't bad at all. The initial lidocaine feels like any other shot (maybe even less painful), and the cortisone shot was virtually painless. Doesn't even feel "weird" unless you let your mind grasp for it.

It's really nothing more traumatic than getting a simple tooth filling. It is not worth worrying about.

Anonymous said...

wish i never read this blog now :(

Anonymous said...

just had a right hip mri-a and Dr. C and his assistant Erin were remarkable. Told me every step of the way what and why and we also talked about Bill Cosby and other distractors. My ortho surgeon who ordered the test gave me 1 mg of xanax which helped with the anxiety, but, overall, the experience was only mildly painful, more short pain followed by pressure and simple discomfort. Recalled my lamaze from childbirth, breathed through it and kept relaxed. Not that big a deal but sounds like I had a great doc doing the deed. Only having some discomfort/mild pain at this point but am icing and moving about to keep from stiffening up - ice is your friend!

Anonymous said...

Okay I had two hip injections 1 lasted 1 week and the last one stayed about 7 weeks doc told me to keep up home excerise program so I went walking made it about 2 car lengths and th eleft hip pop was so bad i almost fell. this injury was due to a accident at work little to my knowledge doc closed the case and gave 0 disability and left me high and dry . he wouldn't even see me after I wrote him a note to let him know what happened. He's a good doc never hurt me with injections and the pain was gone for a while but when it came back he just stopped caring and I know he is capable of finding the cause if he would just take time. I am in pain but now under a different doc and he is in the fact finding stage. So I wait!! If any one out there has any info let me know I can't EVEN THINK ABOUT STAYONG THIS WAY..

Kim Martin said...

My goodness, I am so thankful to have found this site. To all of you who are suffering, I feel great empathy and compassion. I have been dealing with chronic back and leg pain since July, 2010, when I was involoved in an auto accident (I was T-boned, on the driver's side - I was driving). I had an MRI for just the back and it showed nothing. Doc said it was likely a torn ligament, pulled muscle, or some other soft tissue damage, which is hard, if not impossible, to see on a plain vanilla MRI. So fast forward to April of 2012: I was in my THIRD round of PT, when my hip became unbelievably painful. I chalked it up to soreness from having not engaged in my normal activites (yoga, walking, bike riding), but weeks and weeks went by and the pain was still very bad, if not worse. My thigh muscles are literally massive knots. So my doc did an X-ray of my pelvis and low and behold, there is a bone fragment, and some tearing of the labrum (another MRI verfied this). Went to a surgeon, who did nothing but give me an injection of something that made me feel manic, but did take away the hip pain, temporoarily (but I still had the thigh pain and back pain). I just had an arthrogram/MRI on Friday and am now waiting to see what the surgeon has to say. I cannot remember the last time I woke up without pain...I feel very alone in this, but reading all of your posts really has helped me to realize that I am in fact not alone in this difficult journey. I am terrified that I will need surgery, but if it will take away the pain and allow me to do the activities that I love, then I will do it. I am desperate for relief, and for normalcy in my life!

Anonymous said...

DO NOT READ THIS BLOG BEFORE YOU HAVE YOUR ARTHROGRAM! I did...and it made me so so nervous I was contemplating not going! Now I feel so silly. I had the MRI & arthrogram done today and honestly everyone - IT'S NOTHING!

The nurses told me to lie on the table and wait for the doctor. He made me wait so long and after reading about all the useless doctors people appear to have had on here, I was getting more and more anxious. The nurses positioned the x-ray machine above my left hip and the doctor FINALLY arrived. I caught a glimpse of the needle he was going to use and I have to admit, it was quite big. He then put the needle in my hip and there was absolutely no pain whatsoever - I didn't even know he had put it in until the nurse asked if I was ok. I think she must have thought I was high when I gave her a weird look and asked her why! He then injected the local anaesthetic and he asked whether I could feel a burn (which I couldn't - and he did seem quite surprised so maybe expect a slight burning?) and then before I knew it he was injecting the contrast dye. I could see it go in on the screen behind me and it was fascinating to watch. All you can feel is a pressure when they move the needle around to the right places but it's not painful, calling it 'uncomfortable' would be a definite over statement - it just felt like he was touching my hip with his finger with a very light pressure. He didn't get the dye in the correct place on his first go, and when he told me I was thinking 'great - so that's why I'm feeling no pain..prepare youself now!' but there was no pain at all. He removed the needle and the whole thing took 3 minutes tops. There was no pain after - and there still isn't any now as I'm writing this almost 8 hours later.

There really is nothing to worry about so don't get too stressed about it.

Oh and as I said, I had it in my hip, and the nurse (kindly...) said beforehand that getting an arthrogram in your shoulder/wrist/ankle is less painful than a hip one.

I hope your results are all ok!! Fingers crossed mine are...

Anonymous said...

this story sounds extremely painful.

I just had an arthogram today (westechester, NY),
Mine was pretty good, it really sucks, but not the worst, although its the deepest any needle has gone for me.. the only prick feeling was from the lanacane shots, the second push was more painful than the first but it goes numb very quick.... the worst part is when they put the long detachable syringe in between the joint, very creepy feeling and still feel some type of pain, and you will be happy for the numbing agent, because you can imagine how this would feel without it.... arm is kinda bloated feeling but i'm good.... there was no crying, i just never looked....

I was worried about this for a week, and just wanted to share my expeerience..

Stingray said...

I had an arthrogram 2 days ago without any sedatives or other tablets beforehand.. The lidocaine hurt then the next needle going in hurt as it popped into the joint. I didn't notice any pain when the dye was going into the hip joint though. I felt pretty woozy when the time cme to get into the wheel chair and had waves of feeling faint going through me for 15 min or so. The MRI was fine and the local Anaesthetic in the joint lasted a few hours and I was rid of my original pain! (I even drove myself home)
2 days later though and it's really sore!! Different to before the arthrogram - now a continuous ache and Im taking all sorts of pain killers. Anyone else have prolonged pain afterwards?

Heather C. said...

Im extremely glad I didn't read these horror stories before I went and had my MRA done on friday. I absolutely hate needles but the assistant was great distracting me while the lidocaine was put in. When they went to put in the second needle I still felt it a little so I was given more Lidocaine. I didn't feel the dye go in at all. The dr described everything before he did it. And the assistant helped me walk about 15-20 feet to the MRI room. I drove myself home. While I could feel the injection site, the lack of pain in my hip was wonderful! Saturday morning my hip hurt like hell. Even today my pain off and on is worse than it was before. But it has for sure gotten better day by day. I've taken a few ibuprofen 800s that has kept it very manageable.. Now if it just tells my workers comp dr why the heck my hip still hurts three months later ;)

Anonymous said...

I got myself all worked up reading all the arthrogram stories and I hear to tell you it's NOT that bad. The lidocaine injection is like when you have a filling and you feel the burn when it passes in your muscle and joint but it's not horrible. I said ouch outloud once because the deadening went down my leg but it was more surprising than painful. I had an MD do mine. No tech. Just an MD and an RN at an imaging center. The dye itself did pt hurt at all. AT ALL. Just the burn from the lidocaine. Even the dr doing it said bee sting coming and it wasn't as bad as a bee sting. I've had MRIs before so that was easy. I am 6 hours post procedure. I am sore now and figured I would need an ibuprofen regimen for a few days.

Anonymous said...

Oh. I forgot to mention. I drove myself home immediately after and took no meds before. It's really not the worst thing like I thought it would be. Don't get worked up like I did!

Anonymous said...

Nightmares are made from this test! Before having my MRI Arthrogram for my shoulder (I had Rotator Cuff Repair five yrs ago which didn't stop the pain in shoulder and right arm),
I read on line (not this site)that the pain should only be slight when the first needle with the pain med is injected and after that just minimal. Boy was that not the case with mine.
Already in constant pain, the tech had me lie in such a way I was almost falling off the table on the left side and felt as though I had to keep myself from falling. Then the Doc (at least I hope it was a doc) came in the room and explained what he would do and that the only thing I would feel was the first needle going in with the pain med.....wrong!!
Rather than waiting for the pain med to take effect, he immediately inserted the needle with the dye into my shoulder and I felt him hit the bone!!!! It hurt like hell. Then he explained he had to go look at a screen and see if it was in the right place, which was not next to the table I was on. He came back and had to insert the needle again - again hitting the bone!!! This went on for seven trys!!!!!! By this point I was in tears and in my mind decided that if he didn't get the dye in the right place this try I WAS DONE!
I have had two children naturally and can take a lot of pain but this was the worst pain I have ever felt! It felt as though I was being operated on without any medication, and I am not a baby when it comes to pain as I have said!
Then the MRI was done. The Tech again put me in a position where I could easily fall off the table and said don't move as the table moved into the MRI hitting my other arm as it went in. Prior to going in I asked for ear plugs, which I have always gotten before (had a lot of these) and he said they didn't have any.
The tests began and they went for over 1/2 hour before he asked if I was OK. I asked how much longer and he didn't answer.
I was in the machine for an hour, no breaks - as other facilities have given checking on me, or letting me move a little (except for area they are looking at)and when he finally talked into the speaker - said in a disguished voice - you obviously moved a little having a muscle spasm so I have to do the last test again! Like I could control that!!! Again I had the last test!!!!
Finished after 3 hours from start to finish I left crying and in severe pain and still am, added to what I was already feeling and as I read above will feel up to two weeks.
After reading up on others who have had this, I learned several things.
They can inject more pain meds if you are feeling the injection of dye, they can let you rest between tests while in the MRI and the test does not have to feel like you are being operated on while being wide awake and no medication!!!
The Doc hit my shoulder bone every time - he could of given me more pain meds, and the place where I had it was either uncaring or untrained although they are licensed to do these tests!!! I can't believe a qualified person would miss the mark seven times!!!!!!!
If there ever comes a time when I need this test again - thanks to them, I won't do it!!!
I would rather die than get it done again!!!!!

Katz Eyex said...

I had my hip done on the 15th of Feb. They did not mention that they would be going through the groin. The dr. Was nice and made me feel pretty comfortable. The injecting of lidocaine I did not feel but when he continued to try and reach the joint space it hurt like hell. The dr said I shouldn't have been feeling it boy was he wrong. Its been four days and I'm in extreme pain. I can't stand sit or walk with out pain. Muscle relaxers and pain meds are not helping. I need to call the dr tomorrow and find out what is going on.

Anonymous said...

I had an arthogram of my left hip on June 3rd. Prior to getting this procedure done I did would probably most of you all have done. I you tubed this, and visited sites including this to get feedback as to how others experiences were because I was terrified. I have to be honest and say reading other peoples experiences of horror made it 100 times worse for I cried every night for a week straight leading up to having this done. I went in prepared for the absolute worst experience of my life. When I first got in the room I had a complete angel who spoke to me about what was about to happen, as I layed on the table waiting as the assistant went to get the doctor reality set in and all I wanted to do was run for the hills. The doctor came in and was such a nice guy, very laid back and honest and told me this procedure would be very uncomfortable for about 2 minutes but that he would do everything to make it tolerable. He gave me the lidocaine, didn't feel a thing!! Then the assistant said the needle was in! I was overjoyed didn't feel it at all!! But...after they inject the test dye to make sure the needle is in the right spot then the doctor must push the needle in further and that is the worst part because it hurts like a (BEEP)!! Then after the dye was injected the pain started going away because its mixed with medication if your doctor prescribes it. Make sure your doc does!! Yes I cried a bit, it wasn't fun at all but I am sure it also depends on the severity of the problem. Turns out I have an anterior superior labral tear and it's pretty big so my normal orthopedic who repaired my knee doesn't preform arthroscopic surgery on the hip but thank God his partner does because not many perform this surgery. He is the only one in NJ that does and was trained by the doctor in Colorado and performs in Manhattan as well along with Dr Kelly. So, yes it is painful, only for a minute but if I can do it, so can you. Its important to have this done to diagnos the problem and pave the way for the proper route to take to get you better.

Anonymous said...

I have now had various MRIs on my right hip/groin area in an attempt to work out what on earth is wrong with me. The last attempt was joined with an arthrogram (I'm in the UK), and while the pain of the actual needle inside my joint wasn't SO bad - more like a very deep uncomfortable pressure (especially when the radiologist started to dig it around inside). However, I could barely move afterwards, and was in a lot of discomfort on the evening which only slowly decreased as the days went on. I'm still waiting for my results, but please do take a driver with you if you're going. There is no way I would have been able to drive myself home.

Anonymous said...

OMG I had an arthogram on my left hip and I didn't feel anything until the last couple minutes of it when the needle was pushed in the joint and the concoction was injected. I then had to go back for a cortisone shot at the same place but with a different doctor doing the procedure. It was exactly the same as an arthogram but they inject cortisone instead. This doctor I had the second time around injected into a different location all together, he went to the groin area! The doctor for my arthogram went into my thigh which didn't hurt one bit! This doctor was ruthless and it was the most horrific pain I have ever had in my life next to labor pain. Even the lidocaine shot hurt like hell! It took this doctor 4 tries to get it to the correct location. I called him every name in the book and he is certainly lucky I didn't knock his block off. Cortisone helped but I am scheduled for surgery in August for labral tear and bone spurs. No way am I ever having another shot in my hip again!

michael mcconnell said...

I had an MRI today with contrast. I am on a workers comp claim so it's all about getting everything done a.s.a.p because of the cost of my wages, per diem, and hotel. I was contacted at 2:15 and told to be at the imaging center by 3:00. I had no idea what I was in for which is good because I would have probably taken of running if I had known. My doctor was very informative and open to all of my questions. He numbed the area with three tiny shots before hand. It stung and I joked that I needed a pain shot to numb me for the pain shot next time. It was certainly not unbearable by any means. He gave it a few minutes to kick in and I asked him if the injection would hurt. He said I shouldn't feel any pain, just pressure. I could feel the needle entering the joint which wasn't really painful at all but when he went to inject the dye it was PAIN. I could barely find the words to speak. I asked if the pain was normal. It felt like a tight inflated balloon in my already hurting hip which was causing more pressure and pain than before. He stopped injecting me because I was in so much pain. It was a deep ache that I could barely explain. He asked me to bend my leg up which seemed nearly impossible. I was put into a wheel chair and taken to the room where it continued to ache. I felt like I could not straighten out my leg comfortable because of the pressure, tightness and fullness of the liquid in my hip. They put a small foam pad under my knees to give me a slight bend. They strapped me down and taped my feet together to keep me still during the procedure and shoved me into the machine. It seemed like the longest 45 minutes of my life. I laid there praying to keep my mind off of the pain I was in. After the procedure, I was so stiff and sore it was difficult to get off of the table without assistance. Dressing myself was not easy. Putting on my socks felt like torture. Making my way outside and getting a taxi was difficult. I felt every bump on the way home and the driver kept breaking and acceleration accessively. I was thankful that I had a driver because driving myself would have been difficult. I came home and took a long nap. It,s been about 6 hours since my MRI and my hip is still hurting. I am prayer for some answers and some relief. Hopefully I will not have to endure a second or third MRI like some have mentioned. I think a lot of it comes down to amount of pain you are already in and if your hip was inflamed prior to the injection. My doctor certainly seemed knowledgeable and took measures to keep the pain to a minimum but I'm sure it will be different for everyone.

Anonymous said...

Hello! I am post op arthroscopic surgery 6 days. I, like most of you, went through the horror of the painful arthrogram, horror again for the painful cortisone injection shortly after. I suffered with excruciating pain which started in my groin this past March. How did I tear my labram? I had no clue. All I can say is that this has been pure hell from the onset of the problem. Anyone that chooses to just live with a tear, hats off to you. I cant understand why anyone would want to or choose to not have surgery unless they enjoy being limited to walking, sleeping, or even being able to put a sock on. You just can not live a normal life with this injury because the labram doesn't heal without surgical help. In my case I had burn spurs which caused this and surgery was my only option. My attitude was even though the surgery recovery would be hard, at least I was in pain knowing I was on the road to recovery. My surgery took 3 hours, I will not lie it was pure hell for 3 days. As soon as I woke up in recovery the pain was excruciating! And that word is an understatement. But as soon as I got home I noticed the groin pain, the burning, the strong ache going down my thigh was completely gone. Now I am a tough cookie, but this recovery was brutal and not just from the pain of the surgery itself but the anesthesia after effects made it next to impossible to urinate, and the pain medication constipates you. But I am again post op 6 days and I feel great! I can walk without labral tear pain, I can dress myself, I am down to one crutch.I am off pain meds since Friday. I haven't felt this good in 5 months. My doctor gave me my life back and if anyone is scared of this surgery or the recovery and are putting it off I say don't!!! In the end you will be so happy that you did do it. Don't believe the horror stories that It sometimes doesn't work, or it makes no difference. It does, they correct the problem!!

Anonymous said...

I also forgot to mention that although pain medication helps after surgery what truly helps is ice, and tons of it.I had 4 zip lock freezer bags filled with ice on my thigh, in between my legs, and outter thigh around the clock for three straight days!! Now I am dealing with muscular pain, my thigh feels tight, but I will take it!!!

Anonymous said...

OK so I had a Arthrogram of my wrist yesterday and it was the worst pain ever. Lets say the Dr did not wait for the lidocaine to kick in it was not a bee sting and then felt like he was digging for my joint space. It is the next day and it still hurst horribly bad. Would never do this again

Anonymous said...

Some people have horrible experiences with having an arthogram and some don't. I really believe the people who don't have such a hard time of it perhaps don't have a lot of inflammation, or damage in the area because if you do, it will hurt terribly. Sure the doctor you have makes a difference I'm sure, but in my case, having a spinal needle go through my groin and then pop the capsule of my hip joint hurt like a SOB and it probably wouldn't have made a darn difference who did it because I had a tear and I was inflamed. I chose the arthoscopic hip surgery straight away! I was upset when I found out that it was mandatory to get a cortisone injection first to be certain the pain wasn't perhaps caused by something else besides that tear. I cried to my doctor because it was the same procedure all over again only this time cortisone went in verses the dye. Again, horrible just horrible. After it validated that the problem was souly coming from that I had surgery 3 weeks later! I am sorry I wasn't about to just live with it and get more cortisone when it wore off. You cant live with it unless you live to be in pain every day of your life. Cortisone only temporary masks the injury and buys time for surgery. Just get the surgery.....the longer you wait the worse it will become.

Cindy said...

Had my first MR Arthrogram on my left hip today. I was anticipating the worst, but I had a great doctor who explained everything and encouraged me to speak up. He said I should feel pressure and not pain, and that if I did feel pain I needed to let him know right away so he could give me more lidocaine. I did feel mild pressure while he was moving the needle around inside the joint and then at the very end of the dye injection the pressure became intense and I got queasy and felt very strange from head to toe. They put a wet cloth on my head and told me to move slowly and sure enough, I was feeling better within one minute of the needle being removed. I did have a pronounced limp afterward because my hip was so numb I couldn't put much weight on it. The MRI part was only 25-30 minutes and was no big deal (except for the noise - hate that). Then I drove myself home before the anesthetic wore off and took some mild pain medicine to get ahead of the soreness. I've had some pain since then, but nothing severe. Still can't put all of my weight on my left leg, but if I'm sitting still it doesn't hurt at all. I expect some soreness tomorrow, but the total experience was not nearly as bad as I expected. I think it has a lot to do with the competence of the people who are doing your test, rather than your own pain tolerance. It's also about how bad your pain is before you go in there. My hip pain is usually moderate, but someone living with severe pain will probably have a tougher go of it when they have this test. I was mostly just lucky.

Nancy Beutel said...

People......this test is a breeze!!!! I read all the bad stuff here and freaked myself out. I had this test done yesterday. OMG!!! It is nothing. I felt nothing but a pinch and even that had I not known what they were doing I would not have even noticed it was that minute. Seriously do NOT listen to the horror stories. Nth is test causes NO pain!!! Still 24 hours later no pain at all ( other than what I had before which is the reson I had test)...your leg may feel a little tight after for a few hours but NO pain...like I said its a breeze!!!

Anonymous said...

I also freaked myself out by reading about this kind of experience before having mine done. I feel terrible for those who had such awful experiences. I was lucky, though, and want to reassure anyone else researching this procedure that it can be pretty easy. The initial prick is an Owie, but for me it was not even as bad as the dentist. There were a couple of mildly painful moments right after the initial injection, as the numbing agent stung and the doc adjusted the needle, but the agent acted really fast. After that, it felt weird but certainly not painful. My doc had done this thousands of times and I could tell. I am celebrating tonight because I feel so relieved!

Anonymous said...

I just had one done this morning and I have to say, it was absolutely fine. My Dr hit the spot first time. Yes a little discomfort and strange sensation, but initially it was fine. Everthing was explained to me in full detail before the procedure began and again whilst the procedure was being carried out. The MRI itself was my biggest fear but thankfully my head was not in the tunnel. All in all everything took 2hrs and 15mins. Almost 6 hours later, I am a little tender, but only a little. Hopefully tomorrow will be pain free.
Good luck anyone having this done. Its really NOT that bad.

Anonymous said...

In addition to my last post, my Dr told me if I felt pain a couple of day after this procedure, that I must get myself to hospital immediately as it may be an infection and aparently infections of the joints are very dangerous. Some of the things im reading on this thread are suggesting things are not right and the Dr that did my procedure was obviously just learning it as the other Dr was talking him through what to do, but very efficiently as I did not suffer the way some have.

amy said...

I had an ArthoMRI and it didn´t hurt at all. The worst was the anticipation after reading this post. I was so nervous I thought I might vomit. But when I had the injection I felt absolutely nothing. I was if anything, surprised.
I think that´s how it´s supposed to feel. So to anyone who is going to have one done don´t bother being scared because it´s really not necessary :)

Anonymous said...

Had a hip arthogram today and absolutely NO pain. I've had mosquito bites that hurt worse.

Vanessa said...

I am happy for those of you who had a great, pain free experience. I hope that you will reconsider being judgmental and critical to those of us, myself included who did not. This is a place where I have chosen to share my story and have heard from others who had very similar experiences.

Hopefully, it will not be painful when someone goes. But sometimes it is. Good for you if it's not but please don't assume because it didn't hurt you that other people's experiences are not validated. that's rude.

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