Adult Hip Imaging for the Arthroscopist

  • Roy E. Erb


Imaging plays a key role in the workup of unexplained hip pain. Plain radiographs remain the initial imaging exam, and the selection of secondary imaging depends on the clinical setting and question to be answered. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of the hip is the secondary imaging exam for most presentations of unexplained hip pain. Conventional MRI is very sensitive to soft tissue and marrow-based pathology and may demonstrate both intra-articular and extra-articular abnormalities. MR arthrography is especially helpful in the evaluation of intra-articular pathology and suspected femoroacetabular impingement (FAI). Future advances in MRI technology and applications and greater experience with 3T MRI may improve our ability to visualize chondral damage associated with FAI, thus assisting the arthroscopist in selecting the most appropriate treatment and aiding surgical planning. Ultrasound plays a complementary role to MRI in the evaluation and treatment of hip pain and currently is most often used in the evaluation of snapping hip syndrome and as a guide for therapeutic interventions.


Femoral Head Conventional Magnetic Resonance Imaging Alpha Angle Magnetic Resonance Arthrography Femoroacetabular Impingement 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York  2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Medical ImagingSt. Mary’s HospitalGrand JunctionUSA

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