It is one thing to snap your fingers to the beat of a good song, and completely another to hear your hip snapping when you dance or bend at the hip. This syndrome, also known as dancer’s hip or Coxa Saltans, manifests in three different ways. Though the syndrome is usually not serious, it can cause pain and/or joint damage.
Internal Snapping Hip
This condition happens when a tendon slides over a bony structure protruding at the front of the hip joint. The process creates tension on the tendon and the release causes the sound of a snap.
The two inner hip muscles are connected to the femur, or thighbone, by way of the iliopsoas tendon. Movement over the iliopectineal eminence, a protrusion of the pelvic bone, can cause the tendon to make the snapping noise. Another cause for internal snapping is when the rectus femoris, or the quadriceps muscle, moves over the ball part of the ball-and-socket joint of the hip.
External Snapping Hip
There is a knobby bone at the top of the thighbone. This is called the greater trochanter. When a muscle or tendon slides over this protrusion, a snapping sound can be heard. This happens at the outer part of the hip.
External snapping hip can happen when the gluteus maximus muscle slides over the great trochanter. It can also happen if the iliotibial band (IT band) slides over it. The IT band is a made from a wide strip of fibrous tissue. It extends from the pelvis to below the knee and is located on the outside of the upper leg.
If the cartilage in the hip is injured, a snapping sound may be heard. There is a ring of tough flexible cartilage around the hip socket. This ring acts as a gasket to cushion the joint. If this is torn, it can cause pain as well as a snapping sound.
Cartilage also covers the surface of the ends of the bones. This protects the bones and reduces the friction at the joint where they meet. Injury or damage due to wear from arthritis can cause the snapping sound. Likewise, loose bodies of material in the hip, most often fragments of soft tissue or bone, can interfere with the mechanics of the joint, causing the noise.
Dr. Reynolds offers advanced hip orthopedic treatments for snapping hip syndrome. If you are experiencing hip pain or notice a snapping noise, contact our office today for a consultation.
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39180 Farwell Dr., Suite 110
Fremont, CA 94538
Phone: (510) 899-9200