Indications for MRI of the hip

What are the indications for magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of the hip?

Hip MRI is the examination of choice when radiography fails to reveal the cause of hip pain, either traumatic or nontraumatic. Following trauma, some of the common causes of hip pain in patients with normal radiographs are occult proximal femoral (for example, neck or intertrochanteric) fractures, bone contusions, stress or insufficiency fractures, or soft tissue injuries such as labral tears, muscle strains, ligament sprains, and tendon tears. Nontraumatic causes of hip pain include avascular necrosis (AVN), transient osteoporosis, impingement syndromes, bone or soft tissue neoplasms, infection (osteomyelitis, septic arthritis, abscess), and inflammation (bursitis, synovitis, inflammatory arthritis). Most of these entities are typically occult on both radiographs and on computed tomography (CT), whereas MRI is much more sensitive and specific.


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