Diagnosis at Mayo Clinic

By Mayo Clinic Staff

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During the physical exam, your doctor will move your legs into a variety of positions, to see if any of these positions reproduce your pain. He or she may also order one or more of the following imaging tests:

  • X-rays. This technology uses small amounts of radiation to produce images of your internal structures. X-rays visualize bones much better than soft tissues.
  • Computerized tomography (CT scan). A CT scanner takes X-rays from many different angles and combines them to create cross-sectional images of the bones and soft tissues within your body. It provides much more detail than plain X-rays.
  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Using radio waves and a strong magnet, MRI is especially good at visualizing soft tissues.

At Mayo Clinic, tests are scheduled quickly and results are typically available on the same day or within 24 hours. Efficient testing helps Mayo specialists quickly arrive at a diagnosis so your treatment can begin as soon as possible.

Symptoms

Most people with hip impingement experience pain in the groin area during or after flexing the hip, as when running, jumping or sitting for a long time. You may also have difficulty flexing your hip beyond a right angle.

Causes

The hip is a ball-and-socket joint. Hip impingement can occur if the ball is too big or too misshapen to fit properly into the socket. It also can occur if the exterior edge of the socket extends to the point that it covers too much of the ball. In many cases, hip impingement is caused by a combination of these two problems.

Hip impingement can damage the labrum, the soft cartilage that rings the hip socket and helps hold the ball in its proper place.

Nov. 19, 2012

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