The Journal of Arthroplasty, Volume 29, Issue 10, 1911 - 1914

Unnecessary Magnetic Resonance Imaging of Hips: An Economic Burden to Patients and the Healthcare System

Issa, Kimona et al.

Patients referred to orthopedists for hip pain due to arthritis may already have MRI studies ordered by their referring physicians despite plain radiographs being sufficient in most cases. Hence, we prospectively evaluated every patient referred to our institution during a 36-month period to identify the number of new patients with hip osteoarthritis who had an unnecessary MRI, the additional costs of these MRIs, and the extrapolated cost to the United States healthcare system during the next 10 years. Overall, 15.4% of the patients presented with unnecessary MRIs, approximately, 330 to 440.5 million dollars may be spent on unnecessary hip MRIs in this patient population in America. We believe that referring physicians should not simultaneously order a radiograph and an MRI to evaluate hip pain.

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