Knee pain with no obvious x-ray or physical exam findings should bring up a red flag to automatically check the hip. It is well known and taught in medical schools, that the same nerve-the obturator nerve-innervates both joints. Therefore, an elderly patient commonly can present to an emergency room complaining of knee pain after a fall. Then after emergency room physician review of x-rays showing a knee without any acute fractures, the patient is sent home only to return the next day with complaints of hip pain with x-rays showing a displaced hip fracture requiring a major operation. The standard of care in this situation would be to both examine the hip and to x-ray the hip at the first presentation.
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