Tuesday, May 09, 2006

What is a Hip Arthrogram MRI?

So, you're been diagnosed with hip dysplasia and they send you off to get a "Hip Arthrogram MRI". This recently happened to me. No one told me what to expect. Here's the deal.

I was sent to a hospital for this procedure. The arthrogram comes first, the MRI second. If you're claustrophobic, you might want to consider a sedative for the MRI portion of this event.

First, the arthrogram.

Basically, in a hip arthrogram, they will stick a needle in your hip and inject dye. First, I was stripped and put in a hospital gown. Then I had to lie down on a big table with an x-ray machine lookin' thing above it. Then, my joint was marked with a marker and the whole area was liberally painted with betadine. Your knickers will be destroyed ladies, betadine stains.
Then, an anesthetic was injected into my hip area. This just pinches a little. While the anesthetic takes effect, they will mix up a little dye/lidocaine cocktail to inject into the hip joint. This injection has to be perfectly lined up with your hip socket because the needle has to actually get into the hip joint. My guy had to do this about 3 times to get it right. I would recommend not looking at the needle. Yes, it is big. Also, Yes, this does hurt. It's not agony but is sure as hell isn't comfortable. Once the needle is in the right spot, the injection can start. This is good b/c there's another anesthetic mixed with the dye. This kills the pain you feel from having a 20 gauge needle in your hip joint.

Next, the MRI.

From the arthrogram room you will be wheeled to the big MRI machine. I have had 2 hip MRIs in 2 different machines. I am 5'8" and in the first machine I was ENTIRELY INSIDE the MRI machine. The MRI machine is a big tube which you lay on a shelf inside. The ceiling of the tube is about 3-4 inches from your face and you can not move. This was very uncomfortable for me. My most recent MRI was soooo much nicer. In this machine, My whole head and neck was outside of the MRI machine. I had no problem with this at all.
The first MRI I had was for both hips and it took about 90 minutes. This last MRI was only for my right hip and took about 35-40 minutes.

After effects.

The MRI has no after effects. I was very sore for about 2 days after my arthrogram, though. I had my hip arthrogram on a Friday and I was fully recovered by Sunday afternoon. My hip was just really, really sore. It also felt kind of bloated. weird.

There you go! That's what I know. Let me know if you have any questions.

-----------added 12/15/09-------------
Also - be sure to read the comments section. Apparently Hip MRI/Arthrograms are different everywhere and we've gotten a lot of really great descriptions of different experiences in the comments section of this post. Bottom line - its not great, but its not awful (unless you have a tech who takes 3 tries to get the needle in place) - you can do it!!! xoH


  1. Hi Heather,
    I know this post is a bit old but I have a question about the arthrogram. Were you able to drive home afterwards? I will be getting one on Tuesday and I have no family out here.

    1. Anonymous11:23 AM

      If it's done to the right side it is painful driving.

    2. I had this procedure as well and I had no problem driving myself home at all. I am a 42 year old woman in average shape.

    3. My procedure was on the right hip. No problem.

  2. Heather5:04 PM

    Um...I am going to say no. It wouldn't have been a good idea. I was really sore and achey and I felt pretty out of it. For your sanity, I would arrange for a cab.

    Maybe I could've pulled it off if I absolutely had to, but I would not recommend it.

    Good Luck!!

  3. Thank you for your sharing,I just had my hip arthrogram MRI done today

  4. Anonymous1:19 AM

    Hey...I hope you still read this!
    I am having an MRI anthrogram done soon, and am wondering if you were able to walk ok after? Basically, were you able to get around enough to work if you had to? My job requires me to be on my feet a bit.

  5. I was able to walk OK afterwards, I just felt really crappy. Sore and achey and a little out of it.

    For your sanity, I would recommend staying off your feet for the day it was done. They put a lot of fluid in your hip and it was very uncomfortable for me that first day.

    I had mine on a Friday afternoon and I just took the rest of the day off. I was glad I did.

    Good Luck.


  6. I was able to drive afterwards. Procedure was done on the left side so it did not have an impact on my driving. I had difficulty with weight bearing for afew hrs (aprox 4hrs or so) and the hip and leg felt "heavy" . There was some bruising at injection site and some discomfort for afew days but i returned to work next day. Hope this helps
    good luck

  7. Hey!
    I wrote you before....I had my stuff done today, but I was too loopy to drive even if I had to (I got a double dose of goodies). The thing that surprised me the most is WHERE they put the needle in! I always envisioned it going into the side of the leg, not through the bikini line area! Best part: it was intern day, so I had an audience and got to watch it all on a screen :)

  8. Heather1:34 PM

    Congrats Plilly12!

    At least you've got that part over with. Total bummer about the audience - I hate the lack of privacy that comes with hospital stays and procedures.

    Blogger won't let me reply directly to comments, so keep checking for my responses. I usually always respond.

    Hang in there Plilly12!!!


  9. Hi... Iknow this is an old topic but someone maybe watching it...I have a arthrogram appointement in 2 weeks.
    I am curious as to where the needle is injected...Are you lying on your back with the needle through the front..?
    I'm not looking forward to it..


  10. Hey Mark,
    I can only reply here since Blogger says your info is private.

    You are lying on your back. If you feel where your pelvis bone sticks out over your hip joint, the needle is inserted on the inner edge of that ridge at a diagonal. So if you feel your pelvis bone over your hip area, then move one finger width toward your center, that's where the needle goes in.

    Hope this helps!

    Heather (dysplastic)

  11. Heather,

    Thankyou for your reply...I was hoping that the injection would be between my lower back and top of my thigh where it is less tender..

    I dont mind needles, however that doesnt sound very pleasant..

    Thanks again

    Kind regards,


  12. It's not pleasant at all and I was very tender there so it did hurt, but keep in mind that the concoction they are injecting does have an anesthetic in it, so if you can bear up against the pain in the beginning, once they start injecting, the pain goes away.

    Also, they topically numb the injection site which helps some too.

    Good Luck! You'll get through it!!


  13. Heather,

    Its more the thought of an injection in the groin region rather than the pain that concerns me... I dont think i would have any issues if it was injected through the side or back.
    Im just glad you clarified exacly where the injection is made so i can prepare myself..

    Thank you,


  14. Anonymous12:31 AM

    I was advised by my hospital to o'nite or definitely get an escort home and have that responsible adult stay with me for 24hours. The undies stain can be removed by soaking undies in a "napisan" product or bleach. It worked for me.

  15. Anonymous12:42 AM

    had one today. Do not look at the needle! hip still sore after 5 hrs. Drove myself home.

  16. I would totally agree with you and would recommend to everyone - DO NOT LOOK AT THE NEEDLE!!! You should be fairly numb to begin with and in my case the needle didn't start hurting until it was almost inside my joint.

    Kudos to you for driving yourself home, I would not have been comfortable with that. I probably could of if I had to, but I felt pretty gross afterwards.

    Good Luck Everyone!!


  17. Anonymous2:28 PM

    I just had an arthrogram on my left hip yesterday. The injection and MRI was a piece of cake. They don't let you walk to the MRI to avoid disturbing the dye in your hip joint. However, I was able to walk back to my truck to drive home. I think I am in the minority here, and do not intend to scare anyone, but I had extreme intense pain for about 10 hours after the lidocaine wore off about five hours after the injection. It was impossible to sleep. This is the day after and it is very very sore and hard to walk. I have a high threshold for pain, but what I experienced was a 10 out of 10 on the pain scale. I don't know what happened, but suspect that the needle pierced through a nerve or something. Anyway, I am awaiting results.

    1. Anonymous10:42 PM

      I had an MRI done on my right hip today. I have an extremely high pain tolerance so was not worried. Everything went well until they injected the dye into the hip joint. I felt the "heaviness" but then experienced the worst pain I have ever had, located primarily in the joint. I was not prepared for such pain and it appeared the staff were not either. I instantly broke into an incredible sweat and even started vocalizing about how much it hurt. When they wheeled me into the MRI room I told them I did not think I could handle the pain but then decided that if I wanted my hip fixed I had to tough it out. They taped my leg down in a position that increased the pain and started the MRI. When I was just about to tell them I couldn't take anymore, they said it was done. The sheet under me was soaked with sweat from the pain.

      Not sure why it happened and it appeared neither were they. There were a lot of nurses and other staff running around trying to figure out what was going on that caused me such intense pain. Glad it is over and don't plan on going through it again with being put under.

  18. Anonymous7:54 AM

    I had an arthrogram last Tuesday on both hips and I have to agree with most people here. It is NOT a pleasant procedure. My advice? Keep looking up! Looking at the instruments is just silly and will inset pure panic in my opinion. ignorance is bliss ;) Once the intial scratchy pain is over, the rest is totally manageable. Once they inject the dye etc into the joint it feels very uncomfortable, like a pressure type feeling rather than pain. Its like your leg is moving inward and there's nothing you can do about it lol My right hip is worse so he did that first, then my left. Im over a week on and my right one is STILL sore ;( Can't even lay on it at night and in an office job where I sit all day, its pure agony. Its really getting me down. Anyone else experience worse pain afterwards for this length of time?
    Anyway, they wheeled me down to the MRI machine and I was in there for about 40 mins. In all, the whole thing is quite nerve wracking, but you can get through it no trouble I promise. Its the results Im dreading!

    *I miss the gym * ;(

    Good luck to all!

    1. Anonymous6:29 PM

      I had an arthrogram yesterday afternoon, still in a lot of pain today! Took today and tomorrow off. Could not sleep all night, with a stinging/burning sensation in my hip. Today is a little better but hip still very very sore, back to work on Sunday so I hope it is ok by then!

    2. Anonymous4:50 PM

      Still difficult to walk after hip arthrogram MRI 5 days ago. Was happy that I didn't feel the needle. But the pain that night sent me to the emergency room and was kept most of the night and sent home with hydrocodone which took the edge off for the next 30 hours which were difficult. I have a small tear and npw have to decide on surgery or not. (And a slightly mishapen hip that can be filed off so it won't bother the tear area anymore. The ER doc said don't do surgery as I have read same on-line. Has anyone had experience with the surgery. I was feeling so good before this MRI, I almost cancelled it.

  19. Anonymous8:19 AM

    I had one done yesterday, it was truly a piece of cake. Mild discomfort with the needle and the dye. Minor soreness after but nothing even worth taking an advil for ultimately.

  20. Anonymous5:37 PM

    I just had one of these today. The injection hurt a little, and then when the dye went in, yes, it hurt, but nothing I couldn't tolerate. I did cry, however, but I am a big baby and drama queen. What hurt the worst is after the MRI. It was vey hard for me to bend my leg or move it in any way. it took me a while to get out to the car and hurt getting in the car. I stopped and got gas and had trouble again, getting in and out of the car, and realized that getting up the stairs at home would be hard. I have 3 flights. Well, it was worse than I thought. After the 30 minute car ride home, it took me almost 5 minutes to get out of the car, and another 5 to make it to the stairs. It took at least another 5 getting up the stairs. I was crying in agony the entire time. Very slow miving gettting around my apartment, especially with no cane to use. A friend of mine had this done, and she did not have the problem I had. I guess it is different for each person.

  21. Angela1:05 AM

    I had an arthrogram on my right hip and after reading about it, I was expecting the worst. I had myself so worked up, but for what? It was painless!!! Yes the needle is long but they use that needle after they numb you. And you don't feel any of it. I didn't even feel him numb me and he injected me twice. I watched the whole thing, not like I couldn't! Afterwards you feel ackward. I had to walk across the hall to the MRI and it felt like my hip was going to give out. But no pain. After the MRI, I began getting stiff and had trouble putting on my pants and shoes, I recommend loose pants to slide into and slip on shoes! I had a driver because it was my right hip and I had a distance to drive, I recommend it. I was sore sitting in the car, especially at stops and turns. I was sore for about a day and a half, but not much more than usual. Nighttime was a little worse. Ice helped. But I would definately get another one in a heart beat if I had too. Not a problem!

    Best of luck to everyone suffering!

  22. Wow Angela! That's great that your experience was pain free!!

    I think its different for every hip and for every technician who performs the procedure. My tech was definitely a bit on the nervous side and did admit to me that he hadn't done many of these.

    So now everyone knows the worst case scenarios and the best case. Either way, its totally doable and shouldn't be anything to fear, just something to suck up and do. And we can all do it!!

    Thanks everyone for sharing your stories and keep them coming!


  23. Ok They just tried to do one of those on me today minus the lidocaine...I mean none, not a drop. Did not work, too much pain, I had them pull it out.

  24. Hi, it 11/6/09, and I just had this procedure done on my right hip a couple hours ago. I didn't have any sedative for the MRI part. I arrived at the facility at 1 pm. and left at 4 pm, after which I went to work, picked up my kids from school, got gas, picked up my husband, and then went out to dinner. By 6 pm (3.5 hours after the dye injection), my hip was stiffening up -- I guess the anesthesia wore off -- but I still drove around and got home at 7:30 pm. I was anxious once I got there and almost chickened out, but then I went ahead with it. The dye injection wasn't as bad as I was expecting. A little pinch from the surface anesthetic but after that I didn't really feel anything except for the sensation of liquid going into the joint. The anticipation was definitely a lot worse than the actual procedure. I also had no problem with staining as they had me remove everything and just covered everything except for the injection site which was in the bikini crease on the top of the hip. They then wheeled me over to the MRI area, which was what I was nervous about. I was in the MRI machine a little over an hour, and I was fully in the machine, although I went in feet first so my head was near the opening. If I looked up, I could see the ceiling, which helped with feeling closed in. I tried to breathe slowly and evenly, and I think in parts I fell asleep. I pretended I was on an airplane where when you get bored, you sleep. In the middle I had a coughing fit, so they had to stop and then redo one of the pictures. I don't know how sore I'll be, but right now, a few hours after the procedure, I feel really stiff. I couldn't unzip my boots when I got home. I think I'll ice the area and see if that helps. Good luck to everyone, and thank you dysplastic, for providing information to everyone.

  25. Oh, Man! i am totally freaking out about this proceedure. the doctor thinks I have torn the labrum on both hips (I am an old ballet dancer). he told me the proceedure, was "unpleasant'. I am pretty squeemish with needles anyway - I usually faint around them. sometimes i vomit. I know this test is necessary to find the tears, but I am not sure i can do this?????? A needle into my hip socket??/ PLEASE!!!

    help me get ready for this.
    thanks for all the comments and descriptions - it helps so much to hear from those who have walked before me!

  26. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  27. Linda,

    Don't freak out. We all did it and you can too! Best case scenario, it doesn't hurt a bit and you get to take the afternoon off and relax. Worst case scenario, it does hurt some, but is short in duration and ultimately very doable.

    My big motto through all of this hip work was "Fake it till you make it" and it totally works! I am not super courageous, I was scared to pieces through most of this but I just pretended I wasn't. And eventually, I was much, much more confident and in control.

    You can totally do this - just remember:

    1. Do not look at the needle. I even told my arthogram guy that I did not want to see the needle and to warn me when it was coming.

    2. Fake it Baby! Pretend your fine, there's nothing wrong, hum a little song, think about spring, do whatever you have to do to just get it over with.

    And then come back and tell us how brave you were!!!

  28. I just had this done yesterday, and I was absolutely terrified. However, it wasn't bad!

    My experience: I went to the University of Colorado Hospital. They made me strip down into two gowns. Then, I had to lie on a table. The radiologist moved my leg around for a mobility test. I'm sure I flashed the whole world outside the DOOR HE LEFT OPEN. but oh well. I was too terrified to care. (Also, he was pretty darn cute and poking around my groin area, so I was distracted. haha)

    Then he stuck me a few times with lidocain (sp) I didn't even feel those pricks at all. I kept feeling "something going on with my leg" and thought it REALLY hurt, but I sort of looked down, only to realize the doctor was at a counter mixing the cocktail and not even touching me, and I was imagining it.

    He came back, I looked away. He said if it hurt, to tell him and he'd administer more lidocaine. So, for a split second after he slipped the needle in, it hurt. I gasped. He asked if it was sharp, but before it even registered, it was gone.

    Then he was there for a while doing something, but I have no idea.

    The needle was barely bigger than a strand of hair, it was long but the whole thing doesn't go in. It didn't hurt at all except for that one instant. It definitely hurt less than a shot, and I'd probably equate it with acupuncture.

    After the procedure and the MRI, I walked a quarter of a mile, and I also drove 40 minutes home. It was a little sore- I think because my leg was turned out, thereby putting pressure in that area. Today (the following day) it hurts- but nothing bad, nothing like the usual pain I have in my hip when I run or bike. I'll probably go work out my upper body tonight, but am going to limit my activity one more day just because it is a little sore.

    I will say though- my doctor is insisting I have a torn labrum, and I am insisting it's not that at all, it's an issue with my SI joint causing groin pain through a pinched nerve or something. The contrast never left the joint, so I'm pretty sure I'm right and they did this procedure on a perfectly healthy hip, which may be why it didn't hurt.

    But, honestly, it was nothing. I told the nurse how freaked out I was from reading the internet. He laughed and said for the majority of people there is little to no pain and my experience was pretty typical.

    So, take a deep breath-maybe arrange for a ride if it's a long way (some people have to drive two hours!, have some Aleve/Tylenol concoction at the ready for later)and assume it isn't going to hurt. The whole experience of stripping down and presenting your bits to doctors then being in the MRI machine for a while is bad enough, not to mention dealing with an injured hip. This should be the least of your worries!

  29. Anonymous12:21 AM

    I had this procedure today - December 24, 2009 - because I couldn't get scheduled any sooner. I didn't realize i would have th Arthrogram in my hip until I got there. I got really nervous and asked a lot of questions. The staff was really nice and very helpful. They walked me through the whole process, telling me what to expect.

    Dr. Cook told me everything he was going to do and what to expect to feel. I did look at the monitor and I am glad I did.

    The MRI took over an hour (they told me it would). My arms got tired from being held in the same position, but besides that, no problems there.

    The whole process was not bad at all and definitely worth it to find out what is causing all the pain in my right hip.

  30. I am 22 and facing having this done. I am petrified, they think I tore my labrum and want to make sure by injecting my hip with dye and then if it comes back that I did, preforming hip surgery.

    As far as pain goes, can you give a gauge? I have two tattoo's and a piercing I rather not discuss, but i'm a wuss for pain. Was knock out anaesthetic an option?

  31. I didn't find it super painful - just really annoying. there was one point when I def. sucked in my breath b/c it hurt badly for about a second, but then they injected more lidocaine and it instantly went numb. Also, I must've had a pretty bad tech doing mine b/c most people agree that its not very painful at all. If you'v got to tattoos, this won't be a problem. Just like getting pierced, remember to breathe and it will all be over soon!!

    You can totally do this.


  32. Thanks for the support, I'm still nervous but I think now it is more apprehension over the results. Here is hoping I get some pain killers for the nerves and I have a good technique.

  33. I am finally agreeing to having this MRI done to assess the damage in my hip labrums. I am terrified of this prodeedure, and in looking forward, would like to get input as to who are the most experienced surgeons in doing hip labrum repairs. I look forward to all your input. I am asking for sedation for my needle injection m prior to the MRI , but am pretty sure I won't get any help here.....
    freaking out

    so who does the best hip labrum repairs?
    thank you so much. I will report back on my MRI experience......

  34. Hi Linda,

    Don't be scared of the procedure. about 90% of the people I've spoken with says its fine. not too painful, just kind of uncomfortable. You can totally do this.

    As for the labrum repair surgeon, I really don't know. I haven't had that type of surgery. I would suggest checking the hip surgeon list on Hip Universe.
    The list is mostly surgeons for PAO but alot of them due other hip surgeries as well. Any one else here know anything about Labrum Tear Surgery??

  35. Anonymous10:46 AM

    I had this done yesterday 11/01/10 at an NHS hospital in the UK. It was done on my left hip. I'm a keen runner but it hurt more when I walk. I somehow hurt my hip coming down Scarfell Pike two years ago. I literally dragged my left leg all the way down. But I don't remember falling, twisting or anything.
    I knew there were going to be needles and I knew they were going to be big but OMG!
    I was placed on a table underneath an x-ray machine. The doctor and his assistant scrubbed up, unpacked the arthrogram pack and yold me what they were going to do. Simple - a series of small generl aneasthetic injections thro the skin followed by anorher injection of die into the joint. Mine discussed the length of needle to be used as if was the assistants first day (not a good idea when the patient has needle phobia!) I think I went A peculiar shade because the next thing they asked me 'Are you alright?'The doctor was very patient as I was very nervous, so nervous in fact the nurse had to hold my hand (I'm 43)! The local went in, scratched a little then the big one. My hip area was numb by this time but you can still feel the pressure of the liquid building up under your skin around the joint.
    A couple of xrays to check the dye is in the right place and bingo I could hobble to the MRI machine.
    This wasn't too bad (it was my 3rd) what they don't tell first timers is that they made a variety of odd noises. You wear headphones and if the CD player is working you can listen to a CD. Remember to take your own my hospital only had Diva Mix. Well ten minutes into the MRI it stopped and they came in and I thought great. No - the thing they put over my pelvis (an electrical thing like a pad with straps) was not working. I was dreading it all being called off and having to endure the 'horse' needle again. But as I'm slim they said they could use these circle things usually used for shoulders. So off I got, circles put on the bed. Climbed on again with achey hip and was strapped in with all sorts of foam shapes and ankles foam strapped together to hold me still. The only thing I gound is that I couldn't fully straighten my left leg so they put a soft wedge under my knee. And off they sent me into the giant Polo for a second
    time. 45 minutes later it stopped. And I was releived it was over. I just hope with the adaption they made the images are clear and I don't have to endure this again.

    My advice: yes read anything you can so you are aware of what will happen; have some hypnotherapy beforehand if you really are anxious; don't drive, you might find you are not insured if you do as it WILL be sore afterwards, you might even limp and lastly as the needle goes in look at the ceiling and don't forget to breath!!!

  36. Hey, all - I just returned from my hip arthrogram/MRI. I was so terrified of the needle thing I was beside myself when I arrived. they let me have 10 mg of valium. the doctor doing the proceedure really reassured me. the 'stick' was a minimal prick of the needle, then the lydocaine was in and there was no more sensation, other than I could tell there was something going on there. It was over in a very short time - no problem. the MRI took about an hour. No big deal - I went to sleep! I'm so glad now that I finally was brave enough to do this so that the doctor can really see what is causing me all this pain and instability.
    Hope that helps someone out there with needle phobia - it's just no big deal - seriously!

  37. Melissa1:36 PM

    My doctor just recommended the arthrogram/MRI procedure for my left hip. I am curious if the arthrogram is really necessary? I understand it will help determine a diagnosis, but my hip pain is not unbearable - just annoying, so can I avoid the arthrogram altogether and just get the MRI? If you've had a hip arthrogram, can you please inform me of your results and if you think those results really helped you? I am super anxious when it comes to medical procedures and I like to avoid them if they are not at all necessary. Thanks :)

  38. Hi Melissa,

    The arthrogram is kind of important. They're injecting dye into your hip so they get a waaaay better picture or whats going on in there as opposed to just having a regular MRI. Also the arthrogram is used to look for damaged or torn cartilage which can be the cause of a lot of hip problems.

    My results were that there was no torn cartilage and no arthritis so I was ready for surgery.

    Your doc probably wants to rule out any sort of damaged cartilage. If you have damaged cartilage, that could be causing you hip pain and that can possibly be repaired on its own, without having a big, bad PAO. If you've got insurance, its worth doing.

  39. Melissa10:33 AM


    Thank you for the insight. So I am under the impression that the arthrogram helps determine if there is a tear, and if so, treatment may consist of surgery.

    Considering I am not ready for surgery yet b/c I am not in excruciating pain - just annoying pain - I figured it was not really necessary to get the arthrogram.

    If the MRI isn't sufficient to determine a diagnoses, then I guess my doctor will assume there is a tear or damaged cartilage and give me treatment options for that (except for surgery).

    I guess this is my way of talking myself out of the arthrogram b/c I am such a wimp :(.

    This forum has helped me tremendously with the information and the stories I can relate to. Thank you!

  40. Melissa3:49 PM

    Hi Heather,

    Update on my hip/knee problem:

    I got the MRI of my hip and lower back (2 areas). My doctor did not do the MRI of my knee b/c supposedly it's difficult to get insurance to approve an MRI for 3 areas, so he ordered it for my hip and low back since my hip is bothering me the most. Turns out I have mild Degenerative Disk Disease, which is "premature aging" of the disks in my back, as well as mild scoliosis. I guess this could possibly be what's causing the pain in my knee. I've never had back problems.

    Regarding the hip, the MRI showed cysts on my hip, which indicates a probable labral tear. Of course, we can't be for certain it's a labral tear b/c I refused the arthrogram (whoops :)). But my doctor recommended I discontinue jogging, hiking, and any other high impact sports that involve jumping and twisting. I am also going to start physical therapy and focus on core strength training such as yoga and pilates. I sure hope this helps me b/c I've done further research and it sounds like it's very difficult to fully recover from a hip labral tear. The surgery has mixed results and can possibly cause further complications such as arthritis. Maybe a full blown hip replacement surgery will be my best option down the road if I cannot deal with the pain anymore. The most embarrassing thing for me is it hurts me to have sex in the missionary position b/c of the pressure on my hip. Isn't that a problem that only grandmas get? Guess not.

    Anyways, good luck to everyone...


  41. Hi Everyone,

    I am having a pain in my right hip and thigh, and very seldom below knee as well for last 1 year. Recently pain in coccyx has also started, which makes it very difficult to sit or get up from chair. I don't have numbness or tingling, however my pain is sometimes like sharp shooting or aching or pain of type like there's some nerve being stretched and elongated. I've had an MRI for lumbar spine done, with no sign of harm. I've had ESI injection in lumbar spine, medial branch block injection for facet joint, but none of them helped in relieving pain. I've had X-ray for hip and coccyx, but it came out to be normal. I also had nerve conduction test and that too came out to be normal. The doctors have not been able to diagnose the problem. The report of my lumbar spine MRI goes like this:

    "There is mild loss of the intervertebral disc space height seen at the L4-L5 and L5-S1 level.

    L3-L4: There is a shallow right paracentral disc bulge resulting in minimal contact of the exiting right L3 nerve root. There is no significant central canal or neural foraminal stenosis.

    L4-L5: There s a broad-based disc bulge with minimal contact seen of the right exiting L4 nerve root. There is no significant central canal or neural foraminal stenosis.

    L5-S1: There is a broad-based disc bulge. There is no significant central canal or neural foraminal stenosis. There is no contact to the nerve root seen at this level.

    IMPRESSION: Mild dengenrative changes of the lumbar spine are seen, which demonstrate a shallow right paracentral disc bulge at the L3-L4 level resulting in slight contact to the exiting right L3 nerve root and a shallow broad-based disc bulge at the L4-L5 level resulting in slight contact to the exiting right L4 nerve root."

    Now I'll be going for MRI for right hip. I want to ask if anyone can advice something or help with their suggestion on diagnosing this problem? I'll appreciate your help a lot. Thanks.

  42. Hi Harpreet,

    I don't know much about MRI reports but it sounds like you've got a few back issues that may be influencing your hips and knees. I would ask the Dr. if your spinal issues could be the cause of your hip and knee problems. Sometimes, especially with the back and hip, if one thing is out of whack, it can throw your whole body out of alignment.

    Your hip xray is normal, so that's good. If you have moderate to severe dysplasia, that should definitely show up on the xray. Even mild dysplasia should show up on an xray, especially if they are looking for it.

    Your pain issues could be rooted in your back. But keep investigating! Good luck with your research. If anyone here can help out, please chime in!!!


  43. Hi Heather,

    Thanks so much for paying attentioon to my comment and replying back. I've got MRI's done and will probably get back with their results if nothing is caught through those MRI's.
    I want to make clear that I don't have pain in my knees. Its only in hip, thigh or very seldom below knee, all on right side. One consistent pain going on for now ~2 months is in my tailbone and its very excruciating.
    I'll update you if something better comes through. Thanks!

  44. jenniferintexas12:47 AM

    Today is 5-26-10 and the first on I had on my left hip when I was 14 went horribly because I found out I was allergic to morphine and so I'm dreading getting another one but my doctor has already told me that he just wants to make sure that nothing else is wrong before he does surgery and finds more than what he bargained for. I am 18 not and the arthrogram is on june 3rd and I hurt so bad I stay up crying at night because I have a bone spur that is pinching a nerve due to a fracture when I was 12. I was wondering exactly how long is te needle because I have to look at everything (its just the way I am) and do any of yall know exactly how many people are going to be in the room as far as hospital personel I was highly drugged on the last one and they still had to hold me down

  45. This comment has been removed by the author.

  46. Anonymous6:07 PM

    Im also going in for a left hip arthrogram on June 03 (Thursday) and I'm somewhat nervous after hearing some people's stories.
    I have bilateral hip dysplasia and a left hip impingement. We want to ensure there is no labral tear prior to surgery for peri-acetabular osteotomy (PAO). I'm hoping that I will be okay to drive home, since I have nobody else and I'm only 10 minutes from the hospital. Did anyone have to use a cane or crutches afterwards just for extra support?


  47. Hi Again Anonymous!

    Good luck with your MRI today!!

    I did not have to use any added support after the MRi Arthrogram and I totally could have driven a 10 minute drive home, no problem. I just felt kinda generally crappy and tender afterwards. You should have no problem driving home that short distance.

    Good Luck with everything!!

    Let us know how it all turns out!!

    Heather (dysplastic)

  48. Anonymous4:38 PM

    I know this is an old post, but just had an arthrogram so want to share my experience to calm nerves for future arthrogrammers :)

    First the x-ray- they do this to figure out how your hip joint is positioned so they can best arrange the injections. Then they mark you with a permanent marker to figure out where the needle should be inserted. This is totally painless.

    Then the numbing- what I didn't know from reading online is that the numbing happens in 2 parts- at least for me it did. The first was surface level and just a pinprick. Then they put on a bigger needle and go deeper into the tissue. It is a little uncomfortable but I only felt a deeper pinprick when she was almost done.

    Then they set up the 'kit' which is the injection of the contrast fluid. Apparently it's not just a needle but an apparatus- with a tube attached and stuff. I tried not to look at it but saw a glimpse when they were finishing up. It's pretty cool because they use the realtime x-ray machine to figure out how to position the needle. I didn't feel ANY PAIN at all. The only weird sensation was the pressure of the doctor's fingers on my hip pushing something into my skin (which admittedly is a bit strange). I thought the needle was really wide for some reason, but after the procedure the puncture in my skin was very small- not much bigger than what I would have expected from a shot at the doctors- so I can't imagine it was that large.

    MRI follows, which is fine. No pain of course, just a lot of loud noises and having to be really still. My hip felt a bit uncomfortable having to be fully extended lying down in the MRI though, but it wasn't too bad.

    Still, bottom line is NO PAIN during the procedure. The actual injection of contrast fluid for me only took about a minute or two, but apparently it can take up to 10 for patients where they can't find the hip socket.

    Feeling uncomfortable in the hip now though, including significant stiffness, and pain when I engage the hip muscles. Am limping heavily, which is doing a good job to curtail the pain/stiffness. I haven't taken any medication yet.

    Anyway bottom line is it's a weird procedure and uncomfortable to think about, but that's about it. Just take deep breaths and it'll be over soon :) :)

  49. Christelle1:39 AM

    10/18/10 - I am a runner, also like triathlon, I have always been active (yoga, kickboxing...). After 3 years of hip pain, I have been slowing down, and I recently found out I have hip dysplasia (left side). I also have issues with my left knee (alta patella and unknown cause of knee pain for 25 yrs).

    I can live with the knee pain and limit my run, but the hip is getting worse and walking is actually more painful than running!! Please believe me!

    I saw 2 chiropactors last year, and finally decided to see an Orthopedist. He is ordering an arthrogram (to be done on 10/26/10) to know if the pain comes from a labrum tear or the exposed bone (dysplasia). My previous MRI didn't show any labrum tear but without the dye, it is supposely not possible to tell.

    Now that I am all freaked out about this procedure after viewing it on YouTube and reading the posts, I am wondering if anyone experienced labrum tear and/or dysplasia and what procedure(s) were done to repair it?

    Thanks in advance!

  50. singlemomTrust me - the proceedure is no big deal. I acted like a complete baby. There was no pain.
    Ask for a prescription for Valium and take it right before you go . you will be fine.
    I need a double hip replacement!!!1ARGH

  51. Hi all,

    I read this thread with interest as I needed an MR Arthrogram for a suspected labrel tear in my hip. Anyway, I went for mine today (at the Claremont in Sheffield) and I thought I'd share my experiences.

    I was shown into a small changing room, and asked to change into medical greens (leaving my socks and undies on) and walked into the x-ray room. After chatting to the staff and the Doctor, I lay down on a large bed, and they lined up the x-ray machine with my hip. The initial injection of the contrast (Gallium in solution apparently) was the worst part by far. The first injection that I had (of a couple I think) was to numb the surface of my hip, then the contrast needle went in. Now, I'm a total wuss and I hate needles, so I'm afraid that I didn't watch. However, I did feel it, and it wasn't great. That said, it wasn't terrible, and that pain is over extremely quickly (maybe 5 seconds of pain overall in a 5 minute procedure). I'm ashamed to say that I swore like a docker, and grabbed the nurses hand, but the *idea* of the injection was much worse than reality! I was so worried about it beforehand, but there is no need to worry, it is over very quickly!

    After the contrast had been injected, I was shown an x-ray image of the needle in my hip (very interesting) and then walked into the MRI room. I had the MR coil draped and fixed across my hips/groin, and was inserted into the machine. My head stuck out the end, and I was subjected to Ken Bruce and Jeremy Kyle via headphones as the machine is very loud under operation. This wasn't a big deal at all, and you don't feel anything, but make sure you've scratched your nose before they start as any movement just prolongs your time in the imager. after about 30 minutes in the MRI, I was removed, and went to have a look at the cross section of my groin (!!!) in the imaging suite; the staff were really great and the images were very interesting. After that, I went to the changing room, popped my clothes back on, and was out of the hospital within the hour.

    It is now about four hours after my MR Arthrogram, and my hip is rather sore, and I'm sporting a small bloody patch with a small sticky gauze on top. I'm not feeling wonderful, but I'm feeling 10x better than I ever thought possible. If you reach this page because you are worried, don't be, if I can do it then anyone can!

    If anyone is really worried, feel free to drop me an email and I'd be happy to chat :)

    John (j dot d dot tanner at gmail dot com)

  52. Anonymous12:32 PM

    I just had an Arthrogram performed on my right hip today and it really was not bad at all.

    I was on my back and they numbed the area first then placed the needle and all I felt was some heaviness and pressure. Afterward, I had an MRI and then when it was finished drove myself home.

    Several hours later my hip feels surprisingly well. The injection contained Marcaine and believe me it has been a blessing to have some relief from the pain I've been experiencing

  53. I'm having a Arthrogram performed on the 8th of March. I'm turning 17 a few weeks after. I'm so nervous, I've had a double S.U.F.E on both hips. The Arthrogram will be on my left. Is the pain really bad?

  54. Hi BronteeRosee-xo,

    As you can see form the comments, it really isnt for most people. Some people don't feel anything! It just depends on the person. I had an unpleasant experience because I think the person doing my arthrogram was inexperienced. But, even then it really wasn't that bad.

    Try not to be"15 days it will all be over". and by tomorrow it will be 14 days, then 10 then 1 then BAM! Arthrogram is OVER!!

    You can do it!


  55. I had my arthrogram and MRI done yesterday and I had no pain during the procedure. I was given some medication through my IV to help with being nervous. At the time I remembered everything, today, its all a blur. It was done in my right hip. I was wheeled into the MRI and it only took 20 minutes. I got up, and was sore and stiff at the injection site but my hip felt amazing. I drove myself home and picked my daughter up from preschool and even cooked dinner and dessert. About 10 hours later though I was in intense pain from my hip and the injection site. Today I hurt so bad i'm thinking of calling my dr. I'm sure it was my fault for over doing it though.

  56. hi heather.

    im not exactly sure if you still check on this or not or if someone could answer my question, but i am going to try anyways.

    im going for an arthrogram for my left knee tomorrow morning and i have been wondering for the past week whether or not i will need to use crutches or something when i go back to school afterwards.

    if you or someone who sees this can give me an idea, i would really really appreciate it.

    thank you!


  57. Hi Meg,

    I would say you really shouldn't need crutches after. There's no 100% but I could walk fine afterwards, I was just sore. AND my hip was m-e-s-s-e-d up before the arthrogram so I was extra sensitive.

    I'm sure you'll do great!
    Just take it slow and (if your in high school) you've got a perfect excuse to skip PE. If you're in college, don't push yourself too hard, but I'm sure you'll be fine getting from class to class.

    Good Luck!!

  58. thank you so much :) i actually just turned 16 a few months ago but the injury occured last summer. i just didn't want to do any more harm than good so i figured i would ask.

    thanks again!

  59. Anonymous11:24 AM

    Hey there,im having an arthrogram done tomorrow on my left hip.I have been reading comments about it,and its been very mixed reactions!I am very nervous,i just would like to know the discomfort afterwards,is it very painfull...i now have alot of pain in my hip,just wanting to know does this procedure help at all?and also should i bring crutches with me?will the doc give me something to take my anxioty away?ahhhhhh!help!

  60. Hi Anonymous,

    As you have read its a different experience for everyone. The majority of people do not have anything more then mild to slightly moderate discomfort afterwards. Also, when they inject the needle, the give you topical anesthetic first to numb the area and then the injection itself contains a numbing agent, so the deeper the needle goes, the more numb you'll get.

    As for an anti-anxiety med from your doc, if you call your doctors office in advance (like at least a day or so before) they should be able to prescribe you something for your nerves.

    Just try to breathe. I promise it won't be as bad as you think.

  61. Anonymous1:07 PM

    thanks heather,you seem to be pretty sane on this matter!you give great advice,i greatly appreciate it.how long will i be expected to take it easy?and should i bring my crutches with me?i am already having problems walking "normal",what is your advice?thanks again,looking forward to you comment!

  62. I took it easy that day, but I was fine the next day, just a bit sore.

    I would bring your crutches if you need crutches to get around normally. If you don't normally use crutches, then you likely won't need them. If it makes you feel better, stick them in the back of the car and that way if you need them they're there. But I don't think you'll need them.

    I didn't bring my cane and I was fine to walk to the car and around the house afterwards.

  63. Anonymous1:33 PM

    i will keep that in mind.....god,i sound like a big baby!lol,its just the thought of those darn needles that make me kringe!well,again thank-you so very much for your advice,i will let you know the outcome after the procedure tomorrow....,have a great day!

  64. Shani4:08 AM

    I had this procedure yesterday and was very anxious given what I'd read from other people's accounts. Maybe I was lucky with the consultant or maybe the the procedure has moved on but this is what I found.
    I didn't have to strip, I just lowered my trousers. The area was numbed and the surrounding clothes protected, I was told I would feel pressure which I did, very slightly. I thought this was the local anaesthetic going in but it wasn't it was the needle with dye (which you can watch on a monitor above your head). The needle is super-fine, it did not hurt at all. The only unpleasant feeling was as the dye went in, the needle was next to bone and it felt unpleasantly odd but nothing more. The MRI was OK - I'm not a huge fan but it's only 30 minutes or so. Then home to at east 3 or 4 totally pain free hours thanks to the shot of anaesthetic that goes in with the dye. This morning I'm stiffer, but that's because I was pulling my leg this way and that last night, amazed at the range of movement and total lack of pain.

  65. This blog was a lifesaver for me! I have always had this thing about having NO injections into joints, and NO root canals...ever! But due to my hip pain, I was set up for an mri today and reading everyone's experiences was so helpful.
    I took a valium, though I really thought I'd probably do ok doing yogic breathing...turns out I didn't think it worked so well, as I was still quite nervous. Next time I do something like that I'll take a Xanax which is quicker acting; after I got home, 3 hours after I took it, is when I felt kinda draggy.
    Anyway, the dr explained everything she was going to do. First she marked the spot, and then told me she was going to numb the area. Although she said the medication would burn, I hardly felt either the needle or the med. Then came the injection of the dye; I was looking up the entire time and would recommend that for sure. Did it hurt? Kind of, but in a weird way; as someone said above, "weirdly unpleasant." But that was over in maybe 3 seconds. I felt the tiniest bit of pressure when she was putting the dye in. She then removed the needle which I was oh so happy about - and that was IT! I'm 4 hours out and not having any pain right now. I could have driven home for sure but I guess it's not such a good idea if you're doing valium.
    Good luck if you're about to do it - it'll be quick, it'll be worth it, and it'll most likely be minimal in terms of pain.
    P.s...because that dr. did such a painfree job for me, I got her name, and if I have to have a cortisone shot I'm going to request her.

  66. Anonymous2:31 PM

    I'm 14 and had to get one in my left leg yesterday! Im so terrified of needles that they let me put a towel over my face so I wouldn't look and panic. It didn't really hurt but, you can feel alot of pressure on your hip while their working on it. The only bad thing is my leg is so sore now :/

  67. Hi Heather,

    Your blog is helping me a ton. I need an RPAO and recently had a bad experience with a surgeon who was not nice. I am currently waiting appointments to 2 other surgeons to find my right fit. I am also waiting for an arthrogram MRI soon and now I am not worried about it at all! Thank you very much for all these comments!

  68. Hi Liane!

    I am so glad I've been able to help!
    Its awesome that your blogging your hip journey too. The more of us out there, the less alone and the more prepared we are all to deal with our health issues! Hang in there! Dr.s Mayo and Downer are both supposed to be excellent!


  69. Hi Liane!

    I am so glad I've been able to help!
    Its awesome that your blogging your hip journey too. The more of us out there, the less alone and the more prepared we are all to deal with our health issues! Hang in there! Dr.s Mayo and Downer are both supposed to be excellent!


  70. Anonymous8:52 AM

    Hi Everyone,
    I've read everyones comment, but I still have a question. I'm in pain right now before getting the MRI, noone mentioned taking pain meds before the test or does the anesthesia given with the dye take care of the pain? I know I'm going to have a hard time staying still for that long with the pain I'm in.

  71. Loved reading eveyone's experiences. I am having the test today. I have already had 2 panic attacks. I have had PICC put in my arm and usually do okay (a little bit of anxiety). Somehow them messing with my already painful hip freaks me out. Hoping today goes as painless as possible

  72. Hi all. I'm not sure if anyone is still around, but I was glad to find this site. I'm having an arthrogram/MRI next week. I have been told I have a labral tear in my hip and that I need surgery. I'm really scared. I was going to go to work afterwards, but after reading your posts, I'm thinking that's not wise. Also, I'm wondering if any of you found out that you had a labral tear, and had the surgery. If so, what was your recovery like? Thanks. I'm glad you're all here. Terry

  73. Anonymous11:13 AM

    Hi everyone!
    I am a little confused here. Do they inject from the side of the hip (like cortisone injection) or is it in the groin? I get mine next week. They, too, are trying to rule out a labral tear.

  74. Heather9:27 AM

    The injection is in the groin. Mine was near the crease formed by the leg/groin juncture.

  75. Anonymous12:22 AM

    I had read this blog before going into my procedure and I have to tell you that it made me extremely nervous. I worked myself up so much regarding the pain level that I almost decided not to get the test done. I am glad I decided to go through with it. My first suggestion to all of those needing the procedure is to have it done at a hospital or a facility that does these several times a day. You will appreciate having someone perform the procedure who does this multiple times a day rather than multiple times a week. : ) As far as the procedure goes, the initial numbing injection felt like a bee sting. It pinched a bit and then stung for a few seconds. I even felt some pain going down my leg but then it stopped and I didn't feel anymore pinching or pain. Please let me say that I am a HUGE baby! I hate pain and I have a very low tolerance for it, so when I say a pinch, it was really a small pinch. I kept my eyes closed the entire time so I wouldn't freak out about the size of the needles. When the Dr. was injecting the solution I felt some pretty decent cramping. I think my face was scrunching up and he asked me if there was pain or pressure. I told him it was pressure, like a bad cramp but that I didn't think I could take the pressure increasing much more. After another couple of seconds the Dr. said that enough solution was in and that he was all done. I could not believe that the worst of this whole procedure was some bad pressure. This Dr. was terrific. My injection site was not in my groin which is where I expected it to be. It was literally in the top middle area of my thigh right below where my thigh meets my torso. I had difficulty walking at first and had to move slowly. I really would not recommend driving if the procedure is performed on the leg that you drive with. There is no way that I could have changed pedals quickly after having this procedure. My advice to you would be to go to a place that does these routinely on a daily basis and to have someone drive you home if the procedure is performed on your leg that you drive with. Other than that, don't freak out like I did. Keep your eyes closed if you are afraid of needles and let the nurse know you are afraid. If she is compassionate she will help you through it like mine did today. : )


  76. Anonymous11:08 AM

    i am really nervous for my first ever MRI scan! i am only fifteen and training as a professional ballet dancer. i have been having hip pains for a while and the doctor suspects a labrum tear too. i am really terrified at the thought of having so many jabs i cried so much. my friend recently did hers too and she did not have to inject ink i don't understand why i have to. anyone has any advice?

  77. Figured I would add my experience too since this is very much a YMMV thing.

    After reading so many bad stories and being somewhat terrified of needles, I was very anxious going in. Seriously considered popping a valium, but decided to tough it out since I had never taken valium before. Glad I didn't take it.

    Two sticks. One for the lidocaine. Easiest lido injection ever. Did not even sting going in... and HIGHLY effective. Second stick was some sort of shunt, catheter... dunno. I did not look, but they used that to push in whatever meds the doctor ordered and the dye. It took a while to push all that stuff in, but it didn't hurt. I tensed up at the pressure when the meds went in, fearing it would get worse, but it only got better. Then the radiologist had someone hold me under my arms while he tugged and twisted on leg to open up the hip joint more so everything could settle in nice and deep. That was uncomfortable because I've had multiple surgeries on my knee and it is inflamed, scarred, and just not happy.

    They slid me over to a gurney to move me to the MRI. was not allowed to bend at the hip at all so as to not disturb all the stuff in my hip. Only the top of my head was sticking out of the MRI. Worried about getting claustrophobic, but some deep breathing and not focusing on that helped. MRI was over an hour. The worst part was my arm feel asleep... pins and needles. They strapped something across my hips "to get a better picture." They also taped my legs with my toes pointing in to open up the hip joint more. That was not comfortable.

    Awkward to get off the MRI table because I was stiff from staying perfectly still for so long on a hard metal table. Difficult to bend at the hip to get/sit in the car. Got home, threw on a dress and went to see a musical. I popped a pain bill just in case the lido wore off. Used crutches in case the hip got worse and it is a quite a hike from the parking deck. Pretty uncomfortable sitting for so long, but bearable. I was very happy to get home and climb into bed.

    This morning, it is still uncomfortable to sit, but it has been uncomfortable to sit for months. Different kind of pain, but not any worse. Was told that the meds injected might start hurting tomorrow. Today is the "honeymoon" day. :)

  78. Anonymous12:53 AM

    Hi all,

    Not sure if anyone still goes on this. I am 17 and injured my left hip at age 13 and went to about 7 different doctors until one finally told me I had a torn labrum and a cam impingement. Since it went undiagnosed for so long I developed serious arthritis. He did an arthroscopic surgery on my hip to repair my labrum and sand down the impingement. He told me I had very bad arthritis so I would need a hip replacement as soon as I could not tolerate the pain anymore.

    About a year and a half after my surgery I still feel great pain and I feel like the surgery did not help me at all. My range of motion still sucks and the pain is still terrible. Recently I hurt it again to the point where I can't even walk so tomorrow I am getting an MRI arthrogram to see if I possibly retore my labrum once again.

    I am absolutely terrified for tomorrow, although some people's stories give me hope that I will not feel much pain. I do not really have a problem with needles, but the thought of one going into my groin is terrifying. Ah!!!!

    Wish me luck!

  79. Anonymous1:26 AM

    I had one done on my hip and I am 16 years old. When I got mine they had everything preped and ready to go. The procedure took about 5 minutes and 3 x-rays to get to the correct position then they just injected the due and I did not get a wheel chair I had to walk. Fortunately for me I did not feel any pain what do ever. The only thing I felt was minor discomfort. When I say discomfort I don't mean pain just having a 20 gauge needle in your hip is kind of annoying.

  80. Anonymous9:29 AM

    My 18 yr. old daughter has had two of these in the past 4 years, and the third is now scheduled for next month (Oct 2012). She doesn't like them, but her experiences have been tolerable. I always know when her hip pain has become unbearable; she will agree to have this MRI/arthrogram done. She has had 6 surgeries - looks like #7 is looming. Just so glad she can still walk! If it weren't for these diagnostic tests and high tech surgeries, she would have been wheelchair bound many years ago!

  81. Anonymous9:30 AM

    My 18 yr. old daughter has had two of these in the past 4 years, and the third is now scheduled for next month (Oct 2012). She doesn't like them, but her experiences have been tolerable. I always know when her hip pain has become unbearable; she will agree to have this MRI/arthrogram done. She has had 6 surgeries - looks like #7 is looming. Just so glad she can still walk! If it weren't for these diagnostic tests and high tech surgeries, she would have been wheelchair bound many years ago!

  82. This comment has been removed by the author.

  83. Anonymous8:30 AM

    I had this procedure done yesterday morning and I can assure it is absolutely nothing to worry about. The doctor responsible for the procedure told me he never applied lidocaine to numb the area first. He said he just injected the dye mixed with the lidocaine all in once. I said ok, half in tears and a bunch of nerves, I admit, but all I felt was a tiny pinch, I gasped, and then I felt some pressure. That's all. I couldn't believe that was it! After the MRI I walked to the car, drove home and didn't have any pain whatsoever!

  84. Anonymous11:59 AM

    I am to have this procedure in just under a week to help diagnose a labral tear. I am in so much pain from the tear itself that I honestly don't care if the dye injection hurts. I already had one MRI, without the dye, and the results were inconclusive - other than the fact the "something" is going on in there (i.e. cysts, edema, etc). I really didn't like being in the MRI tube before - I'm a little claustrophobic (which is dumb because I know nothing's going to happen to me in there) and I got through the first MRI by listening to music and refusing to dwell on the fact that I was "enclosed" for 20 minutes. Not relishing the idea that this one will take longer, but it has to be done and I just want to move forward with whatever treatment is necessary so that I can have my life back. Will bookmark this blog and post my results next week. To all of you out there who are afraid - nothing to be afraid of. Yeah, it'd be great if we didn't have to go through this, but it will be so much better to be on the other side and healthy again.

  85. Anonymous12:01 AM

    I don't know if anyone looks at this any more but I am scared to death. I have to get this done on the 4th. I had a spinal tap last year and after as many shots of numbing stuff I could have I still felt every little thing. For some reason. Now I am scared to death it's gonna happen to me again with my hip. I am a complete baby when it comes to pain. I am really thinking about canceling it and just living with the pain the rest of my life. Some one help

    1. Shelley8:47 PM

      Don't cancel the appointment! I detailed my whole appointment below. Tell yourself, that it's most important to get the results. I was soo scared to do the procedure, but I went through with it. Being Brave, doesn't mean you feel brave. Do it afraid. Fear is only a feeling (a strong one I know!) Talk to your doctor throughout the appointment about how you are feeling. Good doctors will do everything in their ability to make you as comfortable as possible.

      Oh and reward yourself when you're done! Have someone keep you accountable to keeping your appointment and then treat yourself! My boyfriend said he would take me shopping if I got through the appointment. Incentive works! :) Best of luck to you xoxo

  86. Hi There,

    Don't be too scared about the pain. In a more recent post I mention that I was recently diagnosed with Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome. A common feature of Ehlers-Danlos is resistance to certain types of anasthetic, including the kind they use for MRI Arthrograms. That explains why this procedure was so painful for me.

    I'm sure you will be fine! Read all of the other comments, LOTS of people have had this with little to no pain. :)

    Just breathe and remember that you can get through this. If for no other reason than you have to.

    Hang in there!

  87. Anonymous11:46 AM

    Hi I just had a hip arthrogram yesterday and thought i would share my experience as I was extremely nervous beforehand and had had to stop myself from reading too much about it on the net! It also didnt help that the young orthopaedic surgeon i saw beforehand had told me it was going to hurt! It was not as bad as I had feared, in fact i think the numbing shot was a worse pain! considering i am usually in a lot of pain i also thought to myself that at least this was hopefully going to give me answers to two years of pain and problems so whatever, it was going to be worth it! (hopefully)its very weird sensation when they have put the fluid in, feels like they have filled ur hip with concrete! its not painful as such just very very uncomfortable but that passes. Most painful for me was trying to lie still on my back in the mri as lying on my back hurts at the best of times! I wouldnt not recommend driving after, I took an expensive taxi home but was glad i did as I felt kind of 'high' just from the stress and experience i think. expect to feel shattered after it too and its now the day after and im quite stiff and in a bit of general pain as well as being very tired. At the end of the day, if you are looking for answers then sometimes you just have to do what you have to do!

  88. Anonymous12:17 PM

    Just had this procedure done at OrthoCarolina in Charlotte, NC. I have had flu shots that hurt worse than the injection. The initial anesthetic burnt for a second and I didn't even know that they were injecting the dye. I kept my eyes closed throughout the MRI and listened to music and this helped me through the claustrophobia. 3 hours out and not soreness or pain at the injection site.

  89. Anonymous8:14 PM

    Hello. I'm 19 and I've been scheduled for a bilateral hip arthrogram next week. I'm not afraid of pain or needles but I'm terrified of what they might find. I was born with hip dysplasia and from time to time my hips would be achy... but over the last few months my hips have been causing me a lot of pain. So much so that when I go out dancing with friends I can't walk for a week. I'm scared that my hips will need replacing before I'm even 20...

  90. Shelley8:39 PM

    Hi! I just had an MRI arthrogram for my hip joint today. I wanted to share my experience as it was a very positive one.

    My doctor thinks I may have a torn labrum, so that's why I got the test today. I was really, really nervous after reading about other people's experiences, and the procedure combines my two greatest fears: needles and small spaces. But, I really want to diagnose my hip, which pops audibly and aches on a continual basis.

    So here is exactly what to expect:

    I went to a medical center, not a hospital, which was nice. I was asked to change into a gown. I had to remove my underwear, as that would be in the way of the shot. I laid down on a table under a large x-ray. The doc uses the x-ray to make sure the injection is going straight into the joint. The injection is right below the pelvic bone and inward a few inches. First he injected me with a numbing agent, which was a thin sharp pain for a couple seconds. Nothing bad! He kept the needle in me for a minute while he prepared the dye. Once I was all numbed up he injected the dye, which doesn't hurt at all. It does make your hip flexor feel full, like a water balloon. It's a strange feeling for about a minute, and then my body got used to it.

    Then a few minutes later they put me in a wheelchair, because your leg needs to move as little as possible, as to not disturb the dye. An MRI technician came to pick me up and wheel me down the hall to the MRI room. They made the room really relaxing with dimmed lighting and pictures of gardens. The machine looks like a huge donut, open on both sides, and I went through the hole. What's nice is that my head was outside of the machine. The technician gave me a ball attached to a wire, to squeeze if I needed anything. I also got headphones to listen to music. The technician watches you at all times through a glass window. The MRI took about 20-25 minutes. It was painless and not that loud with the headphones on.

    Then they released me. I was able to walk pretty well to my car. I had a slight hobble since my hip was still a bit numb, but I was able to drive myself home just fine! Now it feels a little achy but nothing bad.

    All the doctors did a really great job and made me feel comfortable. If I can do this procedure, completely afraid, anyone can! Good luck:)

  91. I was in enormous pain after my surgery for the first 1.5 years. I then started getting angry about that, and working out hard. I do the elliptical for half an hour on the highest level (15). It helped enormously. My hip feels great

  92. Anonymous9:35 PM

    I just want to thank you all for the stories and information. I am having my MRA tomorrow and am very worried about it, but I feel after reading these stories that I at least know what is going to happen and am better prepared. Thanks again everybody.

  93. Just got out of having my MRI and the injection itself was fine, they put canuler in with the first anesthetic so one one "injection" needed. Will say I'm very sore now and quite out of sorts. But the injection is nothing to worry about :)

  94. Anonymous3:21 PM

    Hey, I had this done 2 days ago and it really doesn't hurt a bit. I could feel the needle going in but it was more just an achey sensation. Didn't really feel any pain or pressure which they told me to expect as they prepped me. I got to keep most of my clothes on, they just gave me a pair of scrub pants. Even got to keep my trainers on throughout the procedure. Then got wheel chaired down for the mri. Had to wait about 45 min but didn't have to put on the mri pjs everyone else had to sit around in. Mri itself was fine, pretty noisy but sound effects were a bit like an 80s sci-fi movie, which was actually kind of comforting. The worst bit about the whole thing was the anxiety as they prepped the needles. They warned me it could hurt a lot, but I guess they have to. My eyes didn't even water. Hurts less than getting blood taken. It's really totally easy. If I had to get it done again tomorrow I'd be annoyed but only for the inconvenience.

  95. I had it done today and even after the Dr. explained what was going to happen, I was ok. BUT THE ANESTHESIA DID NOT WORK WELL, I thought I was going to pass out, the Dr. put more anethesia, OMG it was so very painful, I was not ready for that. At the end the Dr. Told me to move my leg and I could not, he told me to wigle my toes, and I could not, but all of a sudden the pain was released, I moved my toes and finally my legs. I was able.to drive home but feel like a truck had just run over me. At home now I am very sore, just won't go for a walk, it hurts, but I DID IT!!!!!!!!! Uffff...

  96. Anonymous12:24 PM

    My daughter (17) is having this done in 2 days on BOTH hips due to a car accident. My biggest concern after reading all these posts is she will be having it done at a Medical Imaging facility not a hospital. Did anyone else have it done like that and have both done at the same time? Praying all goes well.


Hi Guys. I don't really check this much anymore. You are welcome to comment though, I just can't always promise you a personal response. I do hope this blog has helped though!