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Snapping Hip: A Closer Look

Popping or snapping in the hip can occur for several reasons.


One type of snapping hip is typically a painless sensation that results from the movement of the Iliotibial or “IT” band (band of connective tissue at the outside of the hip) over the greater trochanter (the broad, flat portion of the thighbone). When the hip rotates, the band moves over the trochanter and can catch, creating the snap you hear. Eventually, this could lead to bursitis and/or lateral hip pain. Bursitis is thickening and inflammation of the bursa, a fluid-filled sac that allows the muscle to move smoothly over bone. (click for more information on trochanteric bursitis)


A snapping hip could also result from a tendon (called the iliopsoas tendon) from the inside of the thighbone that travels up through the pelvis). This tendon is a flexor of the hip and can occasionally catch on structures, also creating a snap.


A tear in the cartilage or debris in the hip joint can also cause a snapping or clicking sensation. This type of snapping hip usually causes pain. A loose piece of cartilage can cause the hip to catch or “lock up.” This type of injury may require surgery.


For more specific information, please check with your provider.

Make an appointment here to discuss your specific problem further.


For more information and source: American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS)