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AIM: To compare the outcome of hip therapy with the response to local anaesthetic into the hip. MATERIALS AND METHODS: A retrospective hip arthrographic study of 60 patients complaining of hip pain was performed. The average age of the patients was 58 +/- 20 years with ratio of men to women of 11:19. Thirty-eight of these patients underwent local anaesthetic intracapsular injection. Twenty-three (61%) obtained relief from pain whereas two (5%) experienced worsened pain. RESULTS: Of the 23 patients who experienced pain relief 17 (74%) had a positive post-operative course, in comparison with eight (44%) who had a positive post-operative course from the group where intra-articular local anaesthetic was not used. It was also noted that patients over 30 years of age had favourable post-operative results in the presence or absence of local anaesthetic testing. CONCLUSION: These results indicate that hip arthrography with a pain relieving intracapsular local anaesthetic injection, is a positive post-operative prognostic factor in a patient group of disparate disorders. A positive response to local anaesthetic injection into a hip may predict which patients are likely to respond well to surgery. We advise alterations to the consent procedure to add a warning concerning the small risk of increased hip pain. If further studies were to confirm our results it may be wise to recommend that local anaesthetic intracapsular injection and judgement of its efficacy should precede many surgical procedures involving the hip.

Original publication




Journal article


Clinical Radiology

Publication Date





430 - 433