To help diagnose osteoarthritis, your physician will take a complete medical history and will also take a series of x-rays to examine your hipbones. On an x-ray, a healthy hip joint appears as if there is a space between the bones in the joint. Although you cannot see the cartilage on an x-ray, in the healthy hip, the cartilage is working to cushion and smooth the movement of the thighbone (femur) against the hip socket (acetabulum). On the x-ray of a hip with osteoarthritis, there is bone on bone contact because the cartilage between the femur and acetabulum has been worn away.
X-Ray of Healthy Knee
X-Ray of Knee with Osteoarthritis
Patient Education information provided by Biomet, Inc. - Advanced Science for Real Living™