Snapping Hip Syndrome

This common condition is a sensation of snapping or catching in the hip, sometimes accompanied by an audible popping sound. It is also called "dancer's hip." It may happen when you stand up, when you walk, or when you move your leg a certain way. In most cases, it is not harmful or painful. In rare instances, the condition can lead to bursitis, a painful swelling of the fluid-filled sacs that cushion the hip joint.

What You Need To Know About Snapping Hip Syndrome

What Is Snapping Hip Syndrome?

The hip is a complex structure consisting of a primary ball-and-socket joint, cartilage (the labrum), ligaments, tendons, and muscles. Snapping hip occurs when tendons and muscles slide over knobs in the hip bones. This may occur at the front or back of the hip or along the outside of the hip. In rare cases, snapping hip may lead to hip bursitis. Bursitis is thickening and inflammation of the bursa, a fluid-filled sac that allows the muscle to move smoothly over bone. Schedule an appointment with a Resurgens physician to get moving again.

What Causes Snapping Hip Syndrome?

Snapping hip syndrome is commonly caused by tightness in the muscles and tendons of the hip. Instead of gliding smoothly across the joint, an overly tight tendon can catch on protruding parts of the hip bones. This can happen in several places in the hip, depending on which tendon is involved. It may also be caused by damage to the cartilage that lines your hip joint. People involved in sports and activities that require repeated bending at the hip are more likely to experience snapping hip. Young athletes are especially vulnerable to this condition due to adolescent growth spurts that cause tightness in the hip structures.

Snapping Hip Syndrome Symptoms

Snapping hip syndrome is often painless. The most common symptom is a snapping sensation with certain leg movements, sometimes accompanied by an audible popping sound. You may also experience tightness or swelling of the hip, weakness in the leg, or difficulty standing after sitting.

How is Snapping Hip Syndrome Diagnosed?

In order to make a positive diagnosis, your Resurgens physician will ask about your medical history, your symptoms, and any relevant injuries. Manipulation of the hip may be performed to pinpoint the location of the snapping, and if necessary, your doctor may order imaging such as X-rays to check for contributing injuries in the hip region.

Snapping Hip Syndrome Treatment

Non-Surgical Treatment

Non-surgical treatments for snapping hip syndrome include rest, icing, and over-the-counter painkillers. Your Resurgens physician may also recommend physical therapy, or specific stretches or strengthening exercises to help relieve symptoms. Corticosteroid injections to relieve inflammation may be appropriate in some situations.

Surgical Treatment

If conservative treatment options are not effective, your doctor may recommend surgery. The type of surgery will depend on the cause of the snapping hip. Traditional open surgery or arthroscopic surgery, which uses miniature tools and a camera, may be used to remove floating debris, lengthen the labrum, and address other causes of the snapping hip. Your Resurgens surgeon will devise a surgical plan that is tailored to your unique condition. Schedule an appointment with a Resurgens physician today.

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