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Your doctor will ask about your hip (your symptoms and how the pain started, for how long, etc) and perform an examination. Your doctor will move your hips and legs in different positions to assess your range of motion and evaluate the positions where your hip hurts.
To confirm a diagnosis of a hip labral tear, you may undergo a special type of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) called magnetic resonance (MR) arthrography.
Magnetic resonance arthrography (MRA) is a noninvasive, non-irradiating imaging technique that uses a magnetic field and radio waves to evaluate your hip. While X-rays show bones well, the MRI is particularly good at showing the non-bony structures of the body, such as the labrum. Further, while X-rays are like looking at shadows, the MRI allows evaluation of the tissues around the hip in slices (like slices of bread as opposed to seeing the whole loaf without what is inside) and allows viewing from different angles.
During magnetic resonance (MR) arthrography, dye (contrast material) is injected into the joint space to help make images more clear. Frequently, local anesthetic (numbing medicine) is added to the contrast material to help determine if the pain is coming from inside the joint.