A painful hipBMJ 2007; 335 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.39239.420220.80 (Published 13 September 2007) Cite this as: BMJ 2007;335:563
- Philip J O'Connor, consultant musculoskeletal radiologist
- Leeds Teaching Hospitals Trust, Leeds LS1 3EX
- Correspondence to: P J O'Connor
Whenever fractured neck of the femur is suspected on clinical grounds, the patient should be treated for fracture until proved otherwise
Normal radiographs (with additional views as appropriate) do not exclude femoral neck fracture—occult fractures comprise about 1% of all fractured necks of femur
Before proceeding to further imaging the adequacy of the initial radiographic views must be assessed
Magnetic resonance imaging is the method of choice in this situation—it can diagnose occult hip fracture quickly, reliably, and cost effectively
Where there is delay in diagnosis or contraindication to magnetic resonance imaging, repeat radiography or scintigraphy may be useful
A previously fit and well 86 year old man presented with acute pain in the left hip after a fall. He had no medical history of note. Hip movement was painful on examination, but no deformity or diagnostic features were present. No fractures were seen on anteroposterior and lateral radiographs of the hip (fig 1⇓).
Log in using your username and password
Log in through your institution
Register for a free trial to thebmj.com to receive unlimited access to all content on thebmj.com for 14 days.
Sign up for a free trial