Before the exam
- You should wear comfortable, loose-fitting clothing. You may be given a gown to wear during the procedure.
- You’ll be asked to remove your jewelry, hearing aids and eyeglasses. Objects with metal may affect the CT images.
- If a contrast material or dye is used in your exam, you may be asked not to eat or drink anything for several hours beforehand.
- You’ll be asked about medications, allergies, recent illnesses and your medical history as some conditions may increase the risk of an unusual adverse effect.
- If you are claustrophobic or staying still for a length of time will cause you pain, talk to your doctor in advance about a mild sedative.During the examMost CT exams are painless, fast and easy. The CT scanner is a box-like machine with a short tunnel in the center and a narrow examination table that slides into and out of this tunnel. The scanners and detectors form a ring that will rotate around you.
The technologist will operate the scanner and monitor your examination from a separate windowed room, but you’ll be in two-way communication with the technologist the entire time.
- The technologist begins by positioning you on the CT examination table so that the affected joint can be examined.
- If used, the contrast material will be injected through an IV or given orally.
- Next, the correct starting position will be set for the scans.
- The table will move through the tunnel very slowly as the scanning takes place.
- You will hear buzzing, clicking and whirring sounds as the CT scanner revolves around you.
The scan takes anywhere from five to 30 minutes
Your primary care or referring physician will receive a copy of the images and test report and will discuss the results with you.