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Snapping hip syndrome

When a person stands up from the chair, walks or makes rotational movements with foot, he / she can sometimes feel a click in the hip joint. This condition is painless and it does not bring any harm to the person. But frequent clicks in the hip joint can be very annoying. Snapping hip syndrome is often developed in young athletes and dancers.

Reasons for the development

Snaps occur when the muscles or tendons move along bone structures. In the hip joint, external areas suffer most often. In them, a thickened part of the fascia lata passes over the surface of the greater trochanter of the femur.

When bending legs, tendons shift in the hip joint and are in the front of the greater trochanter. Since the greater trochanter goes forward slightly, you can hear a snap during the motion of tendons relative to it. This condition can lead to hip bursitis. Bursitis is the inflammation and thickening of the bursa: smooth-walled sac filled with fluid, which ensures the smooth muscle sliding along the bones.

Snapping hip syndromeSnapping hip syndrome may be caused by the rectus femoris tendon that runs along the front of the thigh and attaches to the pelvic bone. When bending the hip, the tendon moves relative to the femoral head, when straightening the leg, the tendon returns to its original position. This back-and-forth motion of the tendon over the surface of the femoral head causes snaps.


Most patients do not seek medical assistance as long as they do not start suffering pain. The first step is to determine the exact cause of clicks.
In some cases, the doctor can test the movement of the tendons when bending and straightening the hip.
Usually, the radiographs of the hip in snapping hip syndrome is normal. However, it is necessary to examine and exclude comorbid conditions of the bones or joints.


If hip snapping is not accompanied by pain, no treatment is needed.

If the snaps highly irritate the patient, he can try the following snapping hip syndrome exercises at home:

  • Change physical or sporting loads to avoid repetitive motion in the hip joint.
  • Limit physical activity and put some ice to the hip joint.
  • Use non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen or aspirin to reduce discomfort.

The patient should consult the doctor for professional snapping hip syndrome treatment, if the patient still suffers discomfort or pain in the hip joint.

  • A doctor or specialist physiotherapists prescribes exercises for stretching thigh muscles, which help to reduce the discomfort.
  • In hip bursitis, hormone injections of corticosteroids help to cope with inflammation.
  • In cases when the snapping hip syndrome does not respond to conservative measures, a surgery may be performed. Arthroscopy of the hip may be recommended.
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