SNAPPING HIP

WHAT IS SNAPPING HIP?

Snapping hip syndrome occurs when a tendon jumps over a bony prominence in the hip.  As the tendon jumps, the patient often feels that the hip is "snapping" or "popping".  

WHAT ARE THE TYPES OF SNAPPING HIP?

There are two types of snapping hips:

  1. Internal snapping hip - the iliopsoas tendon jumps over the brim of the acetabulum.  This is usually felt in the deep groin area and occurs when the patient is moving the hip up and down.
  2. External snapping hip - the IT band (fascial late) jumps over the greater trochanter of the femur.  This is usually felt along the outer aspect of the hip.  It can occur with rotatory movements of the hip as well as flexion and extension movements.

WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS?

Besides the jumping/popping symptoms, some patients will complain of pain in the hip.  Some patients can perceive the jumping symptoms as a "dislocation" feeling.

WHAT ARE THE TREATMENT OPTIONS?

  • The vast majority of snapping hips do not need anything but reassurance and education.  The patient should make sure there are not any other reasons for the jumping (i.e. labral tear in the hip).  
  • If there is pain in the hip with the snapping, then the first line of treatment is conservative including anti-inflammatory medication, physical therapy, and possibly an injection.
  • If the pain continues despite conservative treatment, sometimes (rarely) an arthroscopic surgery can be performed to help minimize the snapping and remove the inflammation.
    • Arthroscopic iliopsoas partial release can be performed for internal snapping
    • Arthroscopic IT band windowing with bursa removal can be performed for external snapping