The hip has a primary role in weight bearing and gait. It is frequently involved in mechanical and inflammatory processes, leading to a painful joint. The pain is often nonspecific, requiring imaging studies for evaluation and diagnosis. Standard radiographs usually are the initial and often the only study required. Routine radiographs are insensitive to changes in the soft tissues and may not reveal changes in the medullary canal. The multiplanar capabilities and high contrast resolution of magnetic resonance imaging make it an ideal method for imaging the hip following standard radiography. Magnetic resonance imaging may be used to detect abnormalities in patients who have had normal radiographs or it can be used to evaluate the complications or stages of disease in patients who have had abnormal radiographs.