Hip Impingement | Diagnosis

How is hip impingement diagnosed?

Early diagnosis of hip impingement allows caregivers to start treatment sooner, preventing further damage. When hip impingement is diagnosed as early as possible, your child has the best chance for successful recovery and return to full activities, including sports.

The doctor will ask for a complete medical and family history (including any hip problems in the family). The next step is a physical exam. During the exam, the doctor may bring the knee up toward the chest and rotate it inward. Pain with this motion suggests hip impingement.

The doctor may order imaging tests to confirm the diagnosis:

  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI): This test can shows the amount of damage to the labrum (the seal around the hip joint) and any other parts of the hip, such as cartilage or ligaments.
  • X-ray: This test can diagnose cam and pincer impingement and also rule out a fracture or other damage to the bone