Snapping Hip Syndrome: The Cause and Treatment

by / Wednesday, 07 October 2015 / Published in Sports Medicine

Sometimes called ‘Dancer’s Hip’, this condition is one in which the patient feels or hears a kind of snapping sensation in the hip while walking, running, swinging their leg around, or something as simple as getting up from the chair. Snapping Hip Syndrome is a condition, while not that serious but still can prove to be a severe annoyance for most people.

For athletes or dancers however, the typical symptoms that are a part of the condition can lead to pain and weakness that might result in interference and inability to perform their best.

What Are The Causes Of Snapping Hip Syndrome?

The snapping sensation that is felt by people suffering from the condition is considered to be a major symptom, identifying the syndrome, and is caused by muscle or tendon movement over a bony structure in the hip.snapping-hip-syndrome

On the outside of the hip can be found the most common site, where the iliotibial band, i.e. a stretch of connective tissue passes over the part of the thigh bone that protrudes out. This is known as the greater trochanter. Now what happens is, when the patient stands up straight the band of connective tissue is behind the trochanter, but by bending the hip that same band moves in front of the trochanter, which is what causes the snapping noise.

Another common site where the snapping sensation may be felt is the ball that is attached at the top of the thigh bone and fitting into the socket in the pelvis. This is the hip joint. Here, the rectus femoris, which can be found inside the thighbone and traveling up through the pelvis, causes the snapping sensation when it moves back and forth across the ball. This happens typically when the hop is straightened and bent.

Much less common but there nonetheless, another cause of snapping hip syndrome is a cartilage tear, or when bits of cartilage or bone break and cause the hip to lock up. This can cause severe pain to the patient and even cause disability.

What Is The Treatment Of Snapping Hip Syndrome?

This particular condition is one that affects athletes and dancers much more than other people, as snap the pain and discomfort

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[ File # csp4036800, License # 2145984 ]Licensed through in accordance with the End User License Agreement (
(c) Can Stock Photo Inc. / 4774344sean

caused by the syndrome has the ability to interfere with their performance. It’s recommended that people who perform and are professionals in sports or other such activities to consult with a Phoenix sports medicine doctor about the best route to take for treating of snapping hip syndrome.

Physical therapy is mostly the first route that is taken by doctors, for the treatment of the condition. Great emphasis is placed on stretching, strengthening and alignment exercises. In order to relieve and minimize inflammation to the affected area, the doctor will use a corticosteroid injection.

While needed in very rare cases, an orthopedic surgeon in Phoenix or Scottsdale might recommend the need for surgery if severe pain is still persistent after an adequate amount of non-surgical therapy.

Dr. Adam Farber with Phoenix Shoulder and Knee offers top sports medicine treatment in Arizona for all types of conditions such as snapping hip syndrome. Dr. Farber is Board Certified and Fellowship Trained, with most insurance being accepted at the practice. Call today!