MRI of the hip for the evaluation of femoroacetabular impingement; past, present, and future

J Magn Reson Imaging. 2015 Mar;41(3):558-72. doi: 10.1002/jmri.24725. Epub 2014 Aug 23.


The concept of femoroacetabular impingement (FAI) has, in a relatively short time, come to the forefront of orthopedic imaging. In just a few short years MRI findings that were in the past ascribed to degenerative change, normal variation, or other pathologies must now be described and included in radiology reports, as they have been shown, or are suspected to be related to, FAI. Crucial questions have come up in this time, including: what is the relationship of bony morphology to subsequent cartilage and labral damage, and most importantly, how is this morphology related to the development of osteoarthritis? In this review, we attempt to place a historical perspective on the controversy, provide guidelines for interpretation of MRI examinations of patients with suspected FAI, and offer a glimpse into the future of MRI of this complex condition.

Keywords: acetabular labrum; cartilage mapping; femoroacetabular impingement; hip cartilage; magnetic resonance imaging.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Femoracetabular Impingement / diagnosis*
  • Hip Joint / pathology*
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging*