Article Abstract

Imaging the young adult hip in the future

Authors: Vasco V. Mascarenhas, António Caetano


The past fifty years have transformed diagnostic imaging of the hip joint. Innovation has been the catalyst for the transformation of radiology, as the arrival of new imaging modalities and the introduction of magnetic resonance imaging, resulted in a paradigm shift from bone morphology analysis to integrated soft tissue, joint and cartilage assessment. Hip pathology in general and the concept of femoroacetabular impingement (FAI) has come to the forefront of imaging and orthopedics. In just a few years, MRI findings that were in the past ascribed to degenerative change or normal variation must now be integrated in different entities, such as cam impingement or subspine impingement. Understanding the pathophysiology through the visualization of osseous structures and detailed depiction of soft tissue structures has become part of routine clinical imaging and has had a major impact on therapeutic decision-making. The purpose of this article is to provide a historical perspective on the utility of various types of imaging techniques for the hip joint, including cutting-edge clinical applications and topics at the forefront of musculoskeletal research. The current limitations as well as future directions of biochemical imaging will be outlined. Finally, emerging trends that will shape the field of hip imaging in the years to come will be discussed.