Snapping Hip Syndromes

A feeling of snapping around the hip may be felt during hip movements. There are 2 types of snapping. “Internal snapping” generally causes a clearly audible snap, or clunk, when the hip is extended from a flexed position. It is caused by the Psoas (a major hip flexor, in the front of the hip) tendon catching during movement. “External snapping” is not often audible, but is felt by the patient on the side of the hip. It is sometimes described as feeling that the hip dislocates.

Both forms of snapping may be treated with cortisone injections to try to settle inflammation and swelling, and physiotherapy to try to release tightness in the muscle and tendon. If these treatments are unsuccessful, and the symptoms warrant, then arthroscopic surgery may be performed to lengthen the tendons and prevent further catching. This surgery successfully relieves snapping in the great majority of cases.

External snapping hip