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Snapping Hip Syndrome

If you hear a popping sound or sense a “snapping” in your hip, you might have snapping hip syndrome. When muscle tendons become inflamed, typically from overuse, they can click as they rub over the hip socket bone. More annoying than painful, snapping hip syndrome is typically harmless, although it can increase the risk for joint damage.

What causes Snapping Hip Syndrome?

Snapping hip is caused by your hip tendon or muscle sliding over bone. As the muscle stretches, it creates tension that results in a snapping sensation when released. Those involved in activities requiring repeated bending at the hip are more likely to experience snapping hip. Because tightness in the muscle structures of the hip is common during childhood growth spurts, young athletes are also susceptible.

How do you know you have Snapping Hip Syndrome?

Snapping hip syndrome often doesn’t cause pain, but you might experience these symptoms if you have the condition:

  • Inflammation
  • Swelling
  • Leg muscle weakness
  • Difficulty with regular physical activity

How does OSI fix Snapping Hip Syndrome?

Many people do not see a doctor for this condition until there is pain. If you are not ready to see an OSI orthopedic doctor, reductions and modifications of activities that require repetitive hip movements might help. If conservative treatments are unsuccessful, contact OSI. An OSI board-certified hip expert will listen to you and discuss your concerns. He/she will then examine you for snapping hip syndrome symptoms by doing one or more of the following:

  • Physical exam: After a thorough physical examination and the discussion of your symptoms and medical history, your doctor will have you stand and move to reproduce the snapping.
  • X-rays: X-rays can identify other issues with the bones or joints.

Nonsurgical Treatment

Most snapping hip syndrome treatment regimens begin with rest and continue with:

  • Physical therapy exercises/programs to restore strength and flexibility
  • Steroid injection (in the presence of hip bursitis) to reduce pain and inflammation

Surgical Treatment

Rarely, a surgical approach may be needed to address snapping hip syndrome. Minimally-invasive hip arthroscopy is usually the recommended procedure, but your OSI hip specialist will help you decide the best course of action.