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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 it?

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 susceptible.

How do you know you have it?

Snapping hip syndrome often causes no pain, but these symptoms may be experienced with the condition:

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

How we fix it

The OSI hip team is here to listen, discuss your concerns, and examine you for symptoms of snapping hip syndrome. Many people do not see a doctor for this condition until there is pain. If you are not ready to see a doctor, reductions and modifications of activities that require repetitive hip movements might help. If conservative treatments are unsuccessful, contact the OSI hip team. The following can help determine the best course of action:

  • 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 joint.

Nonsurgical Treatment

Most 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 a procedure that may best meet your individual health needs and goals.

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