Snapping Hip Syndrome, also known as Coxa Saltans or Dancer’s Hip, refers to a medical condition wherein an individual feels a popping sensation while moving the leg. The hip is a ball-and-socket joint which allows the rounded end of the femur to fit into the cup shaped socket of the pelvis. The labrum is a fibrocartilage which lines the socket cavity and keeps the joint stable. The bones and muscles are further supported by various tendons and ligaments. Snapping Hip Syndrome occurs when a tendon rubs over a bone in the hip joint.
Although this condition usually does not have any disabling effects, it may lead to the development of Hip Bursitis if not treated properly. Snapping Hip Syndrome may occur at various places within the joint.
- In front of hip– The rectus femoris tendon that runs in the frontal part of the thigh right up to the pelvis may start snapping. Besides this tendon, the iliopsoas tendon may also override the bony parts of the joint.
- At the back of the hip– This occurs due to the snapping of the hamstring tendon attached to ischial tuberosity (the sitting bone) and creates discomfort in the buttocks.
- On the outer side of the hip– This type of snapping occurs at the point where the iliotibial band passes over the femur.
- Cartilage snapping- In this, Torn and damaged parts of the labrum may float within the joint space and lead to pain, disability and locking of the joint.
- Tightening in the supporting muscles that surround the hip joint
- Excessive or repeated bending of the hip
- Sports activities
- Muscle stiffness during growth spurts in adolescence
- Injury to the joint
- Snapping sensation while walking, running, swinging the legs or bending the hip
- Weakness in muscles
- Instability in the joint
- Minor changes in gait or posture
- Examination of the joint by the orthopedic doctor
- Evaluation of the patient’s medical history and symptoms experienced
- The patient may be asked to describe movements that cause pain or snapping
- Physical check of the hip joint by moving the leg in various directions
- X-ray imaging may be required to rule out internal bone damage
- Gait analysis
- Testing of the joint mobility
- Apply ice packs to the affected side of the joint
- Avoid activities that may aggravate the symptoms
- Prescription of anti-inflammatory medicines to relieve pain and discomfort
- Avoid sports or exercises that involve bending of the hip joint
- Physical therapy, involving Iliotibial band stretch, Piriformis stretch and other exercises may help to strengthen the hip muscles
- Arthroscopy may be required to remove or repair the torn labrum that may be causing the condition