Hip osteoarthritis: treat the patient not the radiograph

A LARGE US study has found poor correlation between hip pain highly suggestive of osteoarthritis and radiographic evidence of the disease.

Looking at two large population cohorts of older people, the Boston University researchers found only 9 to 15% of patients with frequent hip pain suggestive of OA had radiographic evidence, and only around 20% of patients with radiographic OA had pain symptoms.

They say it is likely that radiography is failing to pick up patients who most clinicians would diagnose with OA on clinical evidence of groin or