Tests and diagnosis

By Mayo Clinic Staff

Often your doctor can determine that you have a hip fracture based on your symptoms and the abnormal position of your hip and leg. An X-ray usually will confirm that you have a fracture and show exactly where the fracture is on your bone.

If your X-ray doesn't show a fracture but you still have hip pain, your doctor may order an MRI or bone scan to look for a small hairline fracture.

Most hip fractures occur in one of two locations on the long bone that extends from your pelvis to your knee (femur):

  • The femoral neck. This area is located in the upper portion of your femur, just below the ball part (femoral head) of the ball-and-socket joint.
  • The intertrochanteric region. This region is a little farther down from the actual hip joint, in the portion of your upper femur that juts outward.

A third type of hip fracture, called an atypical fracture, can occur in people who have been treated for a long period of time with medications that enhance bone density (bisphosphonates).

Mar. 11, 2015

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