A hip X-ray is a safe and painless test that uses a small amount of radiation to make images of the hip joints. It can detect broken bones or a dislocated joint. Your hips are made up of three bones, the ilium, ischium, and pubis, and it also forms your hip joint. A hip X-ray can help find the cause of common signs and symptoms, such as limping, pain, tenderness, swelling, or deformity in the hip area. Like all X-rays, this test uses a small amount of radiation, so it’s generally not recommended for pregnant women or small children unless the risks of not taking it are greater than taking it.
X-rays are common procedures and involve little preparation. Depending on the area to be X-rayed, you may want to wear loose, comfortable clothing that you can easily move around in. You may also be asked to change into a hospital gown for the test. You’ll receive instructions to remove any jewelry and other metallic items from your body before you get the X-ray. Be sure to tell your doctor if you have any metal implants from prior surgeries because these can block X-rays from passing through your body. If your test requires contrast dye, your doctor or nurse will give it to you as an injection, an enema, or a pill to swallow before the test.
Often, a hip X-Ray is taken after a traumatic event, such as a car accident or a fall. Depending on the condition, an X-Ray may help your doctor diagnose your condition right away, or it may be a preliminary step toward more tests and a complete diagnosis. A hip X-ray can help your doctor detect various conditions, such as: arthritis that affects your hip inflammation where your sacrum joins the ilium, which is called sacroiliitis
Once you’re fully prepared for the X-Ray, an X-ray technician will explain how to position yourself to get the best images. Your technician will likely ask you to lie, sit, or stand in several positions during the test. Some X-ray images of your body may be taken using film or sensors You’ll need to hold your breath and remain still to get the clearest possible images. When your radiologist is satisfied with the images taken, the X-ray is finished.