Patient Education

Shoulder Hip


Diagnosing Hip Pain

Your surgeon will evaluate your health history, perform a physical examination, and take x-rays to diagnose your hip pain.

x-rays to diagnose hip pain
  • Medical history
    • Symptoms
    • Health
    • Activity
  • Examine affected joint
    • Range of motion tests
    • Joint-line tenderness
    • Joint deformities
  • X-rays

An x-ray will help your surgeon diagnose your hip pain. On an x-ray, a healthy hip joint appears as if there is a space between the bones in the joint. Although you cannot see the cartilage on an x-ray, in the healthy hip, the cartilage is working to cushion and smooth the movement of the thighbone (femur) against the hip socket (acetabulum). On the x-ray of a hip with osteoarthritis, there is bone on bone contact because the cartilage between the femur and acetabulum has been worn away.

diagnose your hip pain

When non-surgical treatments such as diet, exercise, medications, supplements, and physical therapy fail, your orthopedic surgeon may recommend total hip replacement.

You should discuss your condition and treatment options with your surgeon.


All patient education materials are provided by and have been reviewed by our Advisory Board of leading Orthopedic Surgeons to ensure accuracy. All materials are provided for informational purposes only and are not intended to be a substitute for medical advice from your orthopedic surgeon. Any medical decisions should be made after consulting a qualified physician.
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