How do we identify the correct diagnosis for your hip pain? In this post we walk you through the different types of investigations for diagnosing hip pain.
A common query we are asked here at our hip and knee clinic, is "how do you identify the correct diagnosis for my hip pain?" And rightfully so! We invite and encourage our patients to ask any questions they may have throughout their journey with us, and we do our best to keep them in the know of the process at all times.
It might take a while for patients to recognise and reach out about their ongoing hip pain but when they do, there are many ways in which we can diagnose the root cause to then discuss treatment options with the patient. It is important to note that hip pain isn't always felt in the hip area, hip pain can also be felt in the side of your hip, lower back, buttocks, groin, thighs, knees and even in your feet!
Getting the right diagnosis for your treatment is key to a successful treatment plan. So, how do we identify the correct diagnosis for your hip pain?
👉 MRI Scan
This is a radiation free scan that shows both soft tissues (tendons, cartilage, muscles, ligaments etc) as well as the bones and joint. This typically takes up to 30 minutes to complete and can be a little noisy. Occasionally dye is injected into the hip prior to the scan to get a better view of the cartilage in the joint. The MRI will often show clear issues with the joint that just aren’t visible on a x-ray.
This type of scan is very useful when we want more information about tendons around the hip. The scan can be performed whilst asking patients to use certain muscle groups allowing visualisation of the tendons in action. This type of scan also enables Guided injections to be performed to ensure they are in the correct place to increase the chances of it working.
👉 CT Scans (3D X-Ray)
This scan is essentially a 3D x-ray. It is very quick to perform and shows bones and joints in great detail. It is very helpful when investigating younger patients with hip impingement in particular.
👉 Hip Block
This is an x-ray guided injection into the hip joint. It contains steroid and local anaesthetic. It can either be used as a diagnostic test to help identify if pain is coming from the hip or not, or as a short-term treatment for hip joint pain, such as early arthritis.
If you have been experiencing hip pain and would like to request an investigation, these type of investigations have to be ordered by a member of the Musculo-skeletal Team (MSK) or a Specialist such as Mr Simon Garrett based here in Dorset where you can get these tests performed privately - usually on the same day as your consultation! The results will be produced imminently, meaning your consultant can get your journey to recovery as soon as possible.
It's all hip-hip hooray from here on once we can identify the cause of your hip pain, so don't hesitate to reach out to your local hip Consultant. If you are based in Dorset and would like to see Mr Garrett at one of his private clinics in Bournemouth, Poole or Dorchester, do not hesitate to reach out to us to make an appointment.
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