Radiographs are the most common hip diagnostics investigation used in the clinic, and are an excellent way of looking generally at the bones and joints. Low dose radiation (x-Ray’s) are passed through the relevant body area, developed on a cassette and processed digitally onto a computer system. The surgeon is then able to look at your radiograph immediately and use it to help form the diagnosis and treatment plan. Radiographs are taken either immediately before or after the initial consultation and reviewed with you. You will have the opportunity to look at the radiograph and discuss it during your consultation. Sometimes, further investigations are required.
Ultrasound uses high frequency sound energy to develop a picture of the body area being scanned. It is performed by a highly trained sonographer or radiologist. It is a non-invasive test. It is very good at looking at structures in real time and identifying abnormal fluid or thickening of structures. It is often used in conjunction with injection treatments to ensure the injection is placed correctly at the problematic site. Usually ultrasound investigations are obtained on a different day to the initial consultation. The result will be reviewed during a follow-up appointment.
CT (Computed Tomography)
CT uses X-rays in 360 degrees to obtain a more detailed view of the area being imaged. It provides excellent images of bones and joints and can show details beyond the capability of radiographs. Your surgeon may request a CT to image the affected joint. We can also use these images to obtain a 3D reconstruction of your joint, if needed. This often gives valuable information of the shape of the bones around a joint,which is highly relevant in conditions such as FAI.
CT is a comfortable investigation, and will involve you lying down whilst you pass through the circular X-ray tube or “donut”. Occasionally CT is used to guide injections to specific areas. Your CT scan usually takes place on a different day to your initial consultation. The result will be reviewed during a follow-up appointment.
MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging)
MRI is a non-invasive scan which is excellent at showing very high detail of bones and soft tissues. It is used extensively around the hip and knee area. Sometimes it is used in conjunction with an injection around the affected area. This will enhance the ability of the scan to identify the problematic area in the joint. Usually, the patient will lie down and be passed through a small tunnel. It can feel a little claustrophobic, and is usually a little noisy, but other than this, is not a painful investigation to undergo. Your MRI scan will usually take place on a different day to your initial consultation. The result will be reviewed during a follow-up appointment.
Hip Service Manchester
BMI Beaumont Hospital,
Old Hall Clough, Chorley New Road,
Bolton BL6 4LA
© Hip Service Manchester
SPIRE Hospital Manchester
170 Barlow Moor Road
Manchester M20 2AF
0161 447 6677