Paper| Volume 29, ISSUE 1, P61-63, January 1998

The role of MRI in the diagnosis of occult hip fractures

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      Undisplaced fractures of the hip can occasionally be difficult to diagnose on radiographs. We performed MRI scans on 33 patients who had post-traumatic painful hips but negative radiographs. Forty per cent of the patients had sustained a fractured neck of femur, 15 per cent had sustained an intertrochanteric fracture and 11 per cent had sustained other fractures around the hip; in one patient a tumour was demonstrated. No fracture was seen in 30 per cent of the patients scanned. MRI is well tolerated by elderly patients in pain, does not involve ionising radiation and provides early and accurate diagnosis in patients with X-ray negative post-traumatic hip pain.
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