Joint Pain Undergoes a Transition in Accordance with Signal Changes of Bones Detected by MRI in Hip Osteoarthritis

Mikio Kamimura1, Yukio Nakamura*, 2, 3, Shota Ikegami2, Shigeharu Uchiyama 2, Hiroyuki Kato2
1 Center of Osteoporosis and Spinal Disorders: Kamimura Orthopaedic Clinic, Matsumoto 399-0021, Japan
2 Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Shinshu University School of Medicine, Asahi 3-1-1, Matsumoto 390-8621, Japan
3 Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Showa Inan General Hospital, Komagane 399-4117, Japan

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© Kamimura et al.; Licensee Bentham Open.

open-access license: This is an open access article licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License ( which permits unrestricted, non-commercial use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the work is properly cited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Shinshu University School of Medicine, Asahi3-1-1, Matsumoto 390-8621, Japan; Tel: +81-263-37-2659; Fax: +81-263-35-8844; E-mail:



In this study, we aimed to investigate whether joint pain is derived from cartilage or bone alterations.


We reviewed 23 hip joints of 21 patients with primary hip osteoarthritis (OA), which were classified into Kellgren–Laurence (KL) grading I to IV. Plain radiographs and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) were obtained from all of the 23 joints. Two of the 21 patients had bilateral hip OA. Pain was assessed based on the pain scale of Denis. A Welch t test was performed for age, height, weight, body mass index, bone mineral density, and a Mann–Whitney U test was performed for KL grading.


Four of 8 hip joints with pain and OA showed broad signal changes detected by MRI. Fourteen hip joints without pain, but with OA did not show broad signal changes by MRI. Collectively, MRI analyses showed that broad signal changes in OA cases without joint pain or with a slight degree of joint pain were not observed, while broad signal changes were observed in OA cases with deteriorated joint pain.


Our findings suggest that hip joint pain might be associated with bone signal alterations in the hips of OA patients.

Keywords: : Hip OA, MRI, signal changes, joint pain..