Research Examines Clinical Observation vs. Use of MRI
When it comes to treating people with hip pain, physicians should not replace clinical observation with the use of magnetic resonance images (MRI), according to research being presented at the American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine's (AOSSM) Specialty Day held in conjuction with the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons annual meeting in San Francisco, Calif.
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"We performed MRI scans on a sample of volunteers without any hip pain, and discovered about 73% had abnormal findings," said the study's lead author Bradley C. Register, M.D., of the Steadman-Philippon Research Institute in Vail, Colo.
The study evaluated 45 volunteer subjects with no history of hip pain, symptoms, injury or previous surgeries.
Each participant received an MRI scan that was reviewed by three separate radiologists. Scans identified labral tears—an injury to the shoulder joint—as the most common of the abnormalities displayed, making up nearly 69 percent of the joint conditions. Subjects older than 35 were more prone to abnormalities, showing a 13.7 times greater likelihood of having chondral defects (a defect in the articular [hyaline] cartilage at the end of the bones) and 16.7 times greater chance of having a subchondral cyst.
"The hope, with a study like this, is improved treatment and decision-making for physicians who are dealing with hip disorders," noted Register. "Our results emphasize the importance of correlating clinical signs and symptoms with imaging findings when considering surgery for patients with these conditions."