X-Ray Unreliable to Diagnose Hip Osteoarthritis: Study

X-Ray Unreliable to Diagnose Hip Osteoarthritis: Study

Authored by DesiMD Doctor on 9 Dec 2015 - 13:50


Missing the diagnosis of hip OA has serious consequences. In most of the hip osteoarthritis (OA) cases, the diagnosis through hip x-rays are not reliable and could result in delayed treatment of this devastating disease. OA is a morbid condition causing pain, difficulty in walking and disability.

The study finding published in the British Medical Journal, are the first of its kind to evaluate the diagnostic performance of an x-ray among patients with clinical signs and symptoms of OA. Hip osteoarthritis among the senior citizens is a huge cost to the healthcare system.

Research Study: Researchers examined about 4500 participants with Framingham Osteoarthritis and Osteoarthritis Initiative. The Framingham study, showed only 16% with hip pain had radiographic hip OA, and 21% of hips with radiographic OA suffered hip pain.

Similarly the Osteoarthritis Initiative results showed 9 percent and 24 percent, respectively. The study populations in both initiatives reflected that, hip pain was not present in many patients with radiographic OA, and several of the patients with hip pain did not have imaging evidence of hip OA.

"The majority of older subjects with high suspicion for clinical hip osteoarthritis did not have radiographic hip osteoarthritis, suggesting that many older persons with hip osteoarthritis might be missed if diagnosticians relied on hip radiographs to determine if hip pain was due to osteoarthritis," explained corresponding author Chan Kim, MD, at Boston University School of Medicine.

Further, Kim observed that up to 10 percent of patients with OA do not follow the doctor’s advice of getting adequate physical activity and are therefore at a higher risk of developing other diseases like heart or lung disease, diabetes, obesity and falls.  Therefore patients  suspected with hip OA should be treated regardless of x-ray confirmation, says Kim.



Reference: BMJ ;  Multifactorial mechanisms underlie leg weakness in hip OA



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