Question:I'm 33 years old and having chronic hip pain. X-rays are negative. I can't recall doing anything to hurt myself. Where do I go from here?
Answer:If X-rays were the only imaging tests done, then you may need additional testing. Studies show that 75 percent of patients with hip pain have no X-ray findings. CT scans are used if there's been an injury and the doctor suspects a bone fragment. Other conditions show up better with an MRI.
Labral (cartilage) tears may be seen best with a special gadolinium enhanced MRI. One other useful X-ray to detect labral tears is a fluoroscopically-guided injection of dye into the hip joint. If your doctor is unable to find the cause and symptoms persist despite conservative care, there's one more test available.
Hip arthroscopy has been shown especially useful in identifying hip joint problems in young adults who do not have arthritic joint changes. Your next step should be to make a follow up appointment with your physician. Be patient as it may take a little time to find the underlying cause of your symptoms. A step-by-step approach is cost-effective and usually fairly accurate in the long-run.Dominic Carreira MD, and Charles A. Bush-Joseph MD. Hip Arthroscopy. In Orthopedics. June 2006. Vol. 29. No. 6. Pp. 517-525.
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