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Snapping Hip (Coxa saltans)


What is Snapping Hip?


Snapping hip is a condition in which you feel a snapping sensation or hear a popping sound from your hip when you walk, get up from a chair, or swing your leg around. The snapping sensation occurs when a muscle or tendon (the strong tissue that connects muscle to bone) moves over a bony prominence around the hip.Although snapping hip is usually painless and harmless, the sensation can be annoying.


In some cases, snapping hip leads to bursitis, a painful swelling of the fluid-filled sacs that cushion the hip joint.Snapping hip can occur in different areas of the hip where tendons and muscles slide over knobs in the hip bones.


Outside the hip. The most common site of snapping hip is at the outer side where the iliotibial band passes over the portion of the thighbone known as the greater trochanter.Other causes are Rectus femoris muscle at the front, Ilio-psoas muscle at the inner aspect and biceps femoris muscle at the back thigh passing over bony prominences.Eventually, snapping hip may lead to hip bursitis. Bursitis is thickening and inflammation of the bursa, a fluid-filled sac that allows the muscle to move smoothly over bone.


Inside the hip The labrum that lines the socket of the hip can tear and cause a snapping sensation. Damaged cartilage can loosen and float in the joint causing the hip to catch or "lock up." This type of snapping hip usually causes pain and may be disabling.Snapping or catching in the hip can also be caused by tears in the labrum or damage to the cartilage that covers the bones of the joint.


Who get its most commonly?


Snapping hip is most often the result of tightness in the muscles and tendons surrounding the hip. People who are involved in sports and activities that require repeated bending at the hip are more likely to experience snapping hip. Dancers are especially vulnerable. Young athletes are also more likely to have snapping hip. This is because tightness in the muscle structures of the hip is common during adolescent growth spurts.


What are the treatment options?


Most people do not see a doctor for snapping hip unless they experience some pain. If the symptoms are not too bad then some of the non-surgical options should be tried first.

Reducing activity level.

Anti-inflammatory medications.

Steroid injections.

Applying Ice.

Physical therapy to stretch and strengthen certain muscles around the hip.


Surgical Treatment


In the rare instances that snapping hip does not respond to conservative treatment, your doctor may recommend surgery. The type of surgery will depend on the cause of the snapping hip.


Hip arthroscopy. During hip arthroscopy, your surgeon inserts a small camera, called an arthroscope, into your hip joint. The camera displays pictures on a television screen, and your surgeon uses these images to guide miniature surgical instruments.Because the arthroscope and surgical instruments are thin, the surgeon can use very small incisions (cuts), rather than the larger incision needed for standard, open surgery.Hip arthroscopy is most often used to remove or repair fragments of a torn labrum.


Open procedure. A traditional open surgical incision (several centimeters long) may be required to address the cause of the snapping hip. An open incision can help your surgeon to better see and gain access to the problem in the hip.


Your orthopaedic surgeon will discuss with you the best procedure to meet your individual needs.



Dr Vinod Kumar Abu Dhabi

Sports surgeon Abu Dhabi

Shoulder surgeon Abu Dhabi

NMC Royal Hospital

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