MRI is both highly sensitive and specific for the detection of many abnormalities involving the hip or surrounding soft tissues and should in general be the first imaging technique employed following plain films. Osteonecrosis (ON) is probably the most common cause of chronic hip pain for which MRI is routinely employed and the disorder for which the appearance and accuracy of MRI have been most thoroughly demonstrated in the literature. MRI can also accurately detect ON in the asymptomatic, contralateral hip in those cases in which ON of the other hip has been diagnosed by plain film. Other causes of chronic painful hip for which MR has been used with considerable success include radiographically occult acute and stress fractures, acute and chronic soft-tissue injuries, and tumors.
Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) is generally considered medically necessary for the evaluation of the hips and/or pelvic bones for the following indications: Suspected avascular necrosis, femoral head, Suspected intra or extra articular abnormality (e.g., loose body), and Slipped femoral capital epiphesis and tears of the acetabular labrum.
Students study about MRIs in radiology technician schools. You can learn more by going to a school in person or online.
Bencardino JT, Palmer WE. Imaging of hip disorders in athletes. Radiol Clin North Am. 2002; 40(2):267-287.
Taljanovic MS, Daffner RH, Weissman BN, Appel M, Arnold E, Bancroft LW, Bennett DL, Blebea JS, Bruno MA, Fries IB, Hayes CW, Kransdorf MJ, Luchs JS, Morrison WB, Palestro CJ, Roberts CC, Stoller DW, Tuite MJ, Ward RJ, Wise JN, Zoga AC, Expert Panel on Musculoskeletal Imaging. ACR Appropriateness Criteria® chronic hip pain. [online publication]. Reston (VA): American College of Radiology (ACR); 2011. 9 p. [89 references]
ACR–SPR–SSR PRACTICE GUIDELINE FOR THE PERFORMANCE AND INTERPRETATION OF MAGNETIC RESONANCE IMAGING (MRI) OF THE HIP AND PELVIS FOR MUSCULOSKELETAL DISORDERS , 2011