Hip osteoarthritis: what the radiologist wants to know

Eur J Radiol. 2007 Jul;63(1):36-48. doi: 10.1016/j.ejrad.2007.03.022. Epub 2007 Jun 6.


Osteoarthritis (OA) is the most common disease of the hip joint seen in adults. The diagnosis of OA is based on a combination of radiographic findings of joint degeneration and characteristic subjective symptoms. The lack of a radiographic consensus definition has resulted in a variation of the published incidences and prevalence of OA. The chronological sequence of degeneration includes the following plain radiographic findings: joint space narrowing, development of osteophytes, subchondral sclerosis, and cyst formation. There are cases though, that plain radiographs show minor changes and the clinical suspicion of early disease can be confirmed with more sophisticated imaging methods, such as multi-detector computed tomography and MR imaging. The present article will review all the clinical information on the hip OA together with an updated radiological approach, with emphasis on the early depiction and the differential diagnosis of the disease.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Female
  • Hip Joint / diagnostic imaging*
  • Hip Joint / pathology*
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Male
  • Osteoarthritis, Hip* / diagnosis
  • Osteoarthritis, Hip* / epidemiology
  • Osteoarthritis, Hip* / etiology
  • Radiology / methods*
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed