It's the exact same thing as an injection. They will use fluoroscopy to place the needle and put in X-ray contrast to make sure they are in the proper location then inject the mri contrast. They usually also give you a dose of lidocaine in the joint which can be diagnostic and nice!
2 hours is probably the quickest possible. The radiologist has to do the injection then the actual scan can take anywhere from 30 minutes to 1.5 hours (depends on what exactly they are scanning for). Then there is the wait time between things.
Unfortunately you'll hear everything from worst pain of your life to nothing much. My mom honestly didn't feel hers, she just relaxed and lay there and it was done. A lot depends on the skill of the doc and your particular anatomy. I think if you've had injections into the joint before its not going to feel much different. The two and a half hours are because they prep your shoulder with iodine and scrubs, have one person do the injection of contrast and use live X-ray to confirm placement, then the MRI is in a different room and can take up to an hour. It can hurt afterwards, but horsewoman have a higher pain tolerance IMO
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I had this procedure done on my hip 4 years ago. The hip joint is very deep and difficult to access. I had been told to expect the experience to be unpleasant. Fortunately for me, I had no problems - just a slight discomfort.
I have had a number of these done. The injections can be a bit painful, but nothing otherworldly. I find the interlude spent in the MRI machine ("tube-time") way more objectionable. They have to drug me or else I flip out in there. If you're not claustrophobic, this procedure will be no big whoop.
Dreadful Acres: the chronicle of my extraordinary unsuitability to country life