skip to main content
RadInfo Logo Home

Acute Hip Pain–Suspected Fracture

Hip fractures after a fall or minor trauma are a common problem, especially among older patients. Imaging tests are needed to accurately diagnose hip fractures and decide on the best treatment option. Recommended imaging tests for high-velocity trauma differ from falls and minor trauma and are not part of this appropriateness criteria summary; they are covered under different appropriateness criteria.

Radiography, or x-ray, of the hip and pelvis is the most appropriate first imaging test following fall or minor trauma and can be used to identify most hip fractures. When a hip fracture is not seen on x-ray but is suspected clinically, MRI of the pelvis and hips without intravenous (IV) contrast is the next best imaging test. Subtle findings of hip fractures that are not seen on x-ray and soft tissue injuries may be seen on MRI.

CT of the pelvis and hips without IV contrast is also generally appropriate as a second imaging test for suspected hip fracture not seen on x-ray. Though not as sensitive to subtle findings, CT is faster than MRI and is often used for people who have difficulties with the MRI procedure.

This page was reviewed on December 15, 2021

Sponsored By

Please note is not a medical facility. Please contact your physician with specific medical questions or for a referral to a radiologist or other physician. To locate a medical imaging or radiation oncology provider in your community, you can search the ACR-accredited facilities database.

This website does not provide cost information. The costs for specific medical imaging tests, treatments and procedures may vary by geographic region. Discuss the fees associated with your prescribed procedure with your doctor, the medical facility staff and/or your insurance provider to get a better understanding of the possible charges you will incur.

Web page review process: This Web page is reviewed regularly by a physician with expertise in the medical area presented and is further reviewed by committees from the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA) and the American College of Radiology (ACR), comprising physicians with expertise in several radiologic areas.

Outside links: For the convenience of our users, provides links to relevant websites., RSNA and ACR are not responsible for the content contained on the web pages found at these links.