Houston Methodist. Leading Medicine

Hip FAQ

Question:

What is magnetic resonance arthrography (MRA)? I've heard of MRI but not MRA. My doctor wants me to have an MRA to help figure out what's wrong with my hip.

Answer:

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and magnetic resonance arthrography (MRA) are very similar tools. MRA is basically MRI for the joints. It is more accurate in detecting joint problems. MRI can confirm there's a problem in the joint. MRA shows exactly what is the abnormality.

CT scans work well for bone lesions around the hip. CT scan shows places where the bone might have a tumor, abnormal anatomy, or necrosis (dead cells).

If you ever need surgery on the hip, advanced imaging studies of this type are very important. The more details the surgeon can see ahead of time, the better the surgical plan with no (or very few) last minute surprises.

John C. Clohisy, MD, et al. Preliminary Assessment and Treatment Guidelines for Hip Disorders in Young Adults. In Clinical Orthopaedics and Related Research. December 2005. No. 441. Pp. 168-179. 2005. No. 441. Pp. 168-179.

*Disclaimer:* The information contained herein is compiled from a variety of sources. It may not be complete or timely. It does not cover all diseases, physical conditions, ailments or treatments. The information should NOT be used in place of visit with your healthcare provider, nor should you disregard the advice of your health care provider because of any information you read in this topic.
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