> Snapping Hip Syndrome
What is Snapping Hip Syndrome?
Snapping hip syndrome
results in an audible popping or snapping sensation
as bands of ligaments or tendons slip over the bony
protuberances on your upper thighbone, called the greater
and lesser trochanters. This friction causes a localized
inflammation or swelling in the soft tissue that is
rubbing against your bones. Ligaments, tendons, or muscles
are held taut against bony bumps in your hip. As you
move your thighs, these bumps shift position and the
popping sensation occurs as the soft tissue bands snap
from one side of a bony bump to the other. If the bands
are too tight or the bone surface is not well lubricated,
the popping sensation becomes uncomfortable. Snapping
hip syndrome also may be associated with a tear in the
acetabular labrum, which is a horseshoe-shaped lip of
fibrocartilage that attaches to the rim of your shoulder
Overuse is the most common cause of
snapping hip syndrome. Any activities that require repetitive
leg and hip motions, particularly distance running,
may cause this syndrome. Snapping hip syndrome is most
often seen in women who have increased looseness, or
laxity, in the hip joint and who participate in sports
that require a great deal of hip rotation. The snapping
or popping sensation is usually noticed on either the
outside (external) or inside (internal) of your hip
and upper thigh when you move your leg. The two common
causes are as follows:
snapping – generally caused by friction as the
ITB (iliotibial band), which runs along the outside
of your thigh from your knee to your hip, pops over
your greater trochanter on the outside of your hip.
snapping – less common, this popping sensation
is usually caused by friction as the iliopsoas tendon,
which runs along your inner thigh, slips over bony protuberances
in your inner thigh at the top of your thighbone.
Muscles in your thigh that pop over hipbone surfaces,
like the ischial tuberosity, may less frequently cause
snapping hip syndrome. In rare cases, mild hip dislocations
or loose bone chips cause the popping sensation during
| Orthopedic Evaluation
There are usually three parts to an
orthopedic evaluation: medical history, physical examination,
and tests your physician may order.
Your physician may ask you about the
following information to help make the diagnosis:
age and history of other medical conditions.
nature of your pain – when it began; how long
it lasts; its location and severity; whether it radiates;
and any factors, like running or climbing stairs, that
relieve or increase the pain.
physical and athletic goals – information that
will help determine what treatment might be best for
you in achieving those goals.
you have recently increased the duration or intensity
of your workouts or training.
usually performs a number of physical tests while your
hip is in various positions: Standing – your posture,
stride, hip alignment, muscle tone, and ability to move
from a standing to sitting position will be observed
for abnormalities. Lying in your back – your abdomen,
lower back, pelvis, and hip joint may be put through
range of motion tests where your physician moves your
hips and legs in different directions. Lying on your
side – your physician may press on your ITB (iliotibial
band) to check for any damage. Ober manuever - while
laying on your unaffected side, your physician will
have you rotate and hyperextend the affected hip and
leg to determine what causes pain. Sitting – your
physician may test your muscle strength, reflexes, and
sensitivity to touch. Your physician may also check
your pulse in your hip.
Imaging tests are rarely used to diagnose
snapping hip syndrome. If your physician suspects the
snapping in your hip is caused by a tear of the acetabular
labrum, he may order MRI
(magnetic resonance imaging) or arthrogram.