Additional tests for joint pain

After the physical examination, the surgeon may request additional tests to confirm the diagnosis, such as:

  • X-rays to see how much joint damage or deformity exists
  • Laboratory test of your blood, urine, or joint fluid, to identify specific types of arthritis, or rule out certain diseases
  • Specialised back X-rays to confirm hip pain isn't being caused by a back problem
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) or a bone scan to determine the condition of the bone and soft tissues of the affected joint.
  • Doppler /  ultrasound to assess circulation

Seeing an orthopaedic surgeon

Seeing an orthopaedic surgeon

Preparing for a specialist appointment

If your doctor recommends you see a specialist orthopaedic surgeon, you may be wondering what to expect.

Every orthopaedic evaluation is different, but there are many common tests an orthopaedic surgeon may consider in evaluating your condition. During your first appointment, the surgeon will usually go through:

  • A thorough medical history
  • A physical examination
  • Arranging X-rays
  • Additional tests, as needed

During the physical examination, the orthopaedic surgeon will examine your standing posture, how you walk (your gait), and how you sit and lie down. This helps to confirm (or to rule out) the possible diagnosis. It also allows the orthopaedic surgeon to check other important aspects of your hips and knees, including:

  • Size and length
  • Strength
  • Range of motion
  • Swelling
  • Reflexes
  • Skin condition
  • Circulation

If you are experiencing pain in your hip joint, they may also examine your back as hip pain could be the result of problems in the lower spine.

Based on the diagnosis, your treatment options may include non-surgical or surgical treatment. 

Next Steps

Contact your GP or health professional to discuss your options