Computed tomography of hip joints


Many drivers know the situation, when in the car, something creaks or clicks. This situation becomes a reason to visit the service where safely change the faulty parts or oil, and the car then runs like new. It is a pity that in the human body is not so simple. The squeak and clicking are frequently encountered in diseases of the joints.

The hip joint is the largest in the human body and related pathology significantly reduces quality of life. There are problems in people of all ages, even infants. This joint is one of the few, modern medicine replaces the internal prosthesis.

Age-related changes

Osteoarthritis – for this localization is called «osteoarthritis». With age the cartilage loses elasticity, becomes thinner, decreases the amount of synovial fluid, the bones grow osteophytes. Appear creaking, pain in the pelvic area, the range of motion is limited.

To establish the diagnosis of osteoarthritis using x-ray. Computed tomography accurately identifies the degree of osteoarthritis, allowing you to see the smallest lesions of bone surfaces and narrowing the gap.

Osteoporosis develops when calcium deficiency or violation of its utilization by the body. Bone tissue thins and becomes fragile. Causes: insufficient intake of dietary calcium, decreased synthesis of vitamin D, hormonal changes, especially in women with menopause, diseases of the gastrointestinal tract. Frequent complication is fracture of the femoral neck.

Signs of osteoporosis on x-ray may not be visible due to overlay of layers of bone structures to each other. Only the layer-by-layer scan will give the answer about the severity developed the disease and accordingly help you choose the right tactics of treatment. If you have a choice between MRI and CT, is to prefer the second option because of its advantage in the visualization of bone structures is undeniable.

Rheumatic diseases

There are many rheumatic diseases, in which one of the participants in the process become the hip joints. The causes of such diseases are different (infectious, autoimmune, hereditary, etc.).

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Rheumatic diseases are diverse and have different, at first glance unrelated symptoms. It happens that the patient starts treatment completely to another specialist. Sometimes only a thorough study of the diagnostic data allows the correct diagnosis. Often the patient is consistently physicians of different specialties and each of them need to see what is happening in the damaged region. In such situations, a CT have a distinct advantage over ultrasound and x-ray, because it provides an opportunity for the doctor to see a detailed picture with your own eyes.


The fracture is the result of a serious injury. Sometimes the plane of the fracture is so convoluted that the doctor hesitates, assessing x-ray: fracture occurs or not. In this case, can not do without a CT scan, which will answer this question and show how the line of fracture and whether the bone of the pelvis. Will become clear and the situation around the fracture damage of the muscular apparatus of the pelvic organs, the presence of large hematomas. For complex fractures of the pelvis the imaging information, determines the tactics of surgical treatment. In this case also, MRI is less informative.

Aseptic necrosis of the femoral head – total or partial destruction. Reason science calls many: previous injury, osteoarthritis, exhausting physical exercise, eating habits, variations in atmospheric pressure. However, the precise relationship with one or another cause has not been established so far.

CT sets the extent and precise localization of necrosis and determines the tactics of treatment.

Tumors and neoplastic processes

Tumors in the region of the hip joints of both benign and malignant do not have specific symptoms. The patient will go to the doctor with complaints that are typical for osteoarthritis: pain in the hip joint, pelvis and /or reduction of range of motion.

The diagnosis is made after performing a CT scan, she will determine the stage of the process and involvement of surrounding organs and pelvic bones and establish whether there are metastases in the lymph nodes next. This information will be determinant in the tactics of treatment and subsequent prognosis.

Paraneoplastic arthralgia. Such a complex name given to a disease of the joints that accompanies the growth of tumors elsewhere in the body. They may appear a long time before the tumor will be felt.

For differential diagnosis of osteoarthritis and other diseases can be used computed tomography, which will help to identify signs of inconsistency of clinical manifestations and the condition of the hip joint: as a rule, this syndrome is accompanied by severe pain, swelling of joints, fever and lack of response to treatment. On the tomograms of the lesion of bone tissue will be minimal, corresponding to mild osteoarthritis. This picture, of course, will not allow you to put the exact diagnosis, but will force the doctor to think in this direction.

Congenital malformations

Hip dysplasia is a frequent congenital disorder in which the immature acetabulum is the place where the bones of the pelvis and the femoral head. There are five degrees of severity, manifested by gait disturbance and a limp.

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Varus deformity of the femoral neck is another congenital condition of the hip joint, resulting from improper development of the pelvis and the femoral neck. Manifests the difference in length of the legs, lameness, limitation of range of motion.

CT will definitely be able to see such a pathology, but as the diagnosis is established in early childhood, need to apply it only in a pinch. Such a case can be considered as the absolute inaccessibility of the MRI and the emergency indication in the case of the hip joint is practically zero.

Attention parents! If the child is in emergency CT scan done, do not be afraid: radiation exposure when performing a single scan will not bring tangible harm.