The three types of imaging you may need are: 1) x-ray, 2) MRI, and 3) CT scan.
X-ray is the most common imaging modality we use and provides a good overview of the bony structure of the hip. Most patients will need to have x-rays taken when they come in for an appointment. Even if you have had x-rays taken in the past, we may obtain additional specialized views to look for FAI.
MRI is an imaging technique that uses magnets instead of radiation in order to obtain detailed images of the body. MRI gives us the best look at the soft tissues (labrum, tendons, cartilage). We often obtain an MR arthrogram, a special type of MRI in which contrast fluid is injected into the joint, when a labral tear is suspected. MRI is not performed in the office and requires an appointment. UC San Diego Health System has several MRI machines so that most patients can schedule their MRI within a few days of getting insurance approval.
CT Scan is the third type of imaging we use and provides a very detailed picture of the bony anatomy of the hip. This is particularly important in cases of complex FAI. With the advanced imaging technology available at UC San Diego, we are able to create a 3-D map of your hip so that recontouring of the hip joint during surgery can be as accurate as possible.