Snapping Hip Syndrome


Coxa Saltans Syndrome
AKA Snapping Hip Syndrome

Snapping hip syndrome is just what it sounds like — a condition named for a snapping sensation or audible snapping sound in the hip. Known also as Coxa Saltans, snapping hip syndrome is often harmless, albeit annoying, but for some it can cause pain and weakness.

When patients come into MOTUS struggling with symptoms of snapping hip syndrome, our first step is to determine the cause. This may be intra-articular, external, or internal. An intra-articular cause is the least common, and is usually the result of a cartilage tear or something loose in the hip joint. This might also cause the hip to lock up.

An external cause for snapping hip syndrome is the iliotibial band (IT band) snapping across the greater trochanter of the femur. This is the most common cause of the condition. Another possibility is an internal cause coming from the Iliopsoas tendon snapping across a part of the pelvis.

Most of the time when we treat someone with snapping hip syndrome at MOTUS, it has come from an external cause that’s developed after overuse. Athletes who regularly participate in activities with lots of hip flexion and extension are more likely to develop snapping hip syndrome. This includes sports like soccer, gymnastics, dance, and running. External snapping hip syndrome tends to develop gradually. It’s easy to identify by the visible and/or audible snap that occurs when a patient flexes and extends the hip. Some patients describe the sensation as feeling like the hip is dislocating.

Patients with a groin strain present with severe pain in the groin area, usually along the inner thigh or the insertion. Although pain gets worse with adduction, there’s no change to range of motion or strength.

A strained muscle usually means damage close to where the muscle and tendon meet. Such a strain makes the muscle weaker, and increases the chance of further injury, so it’s important for athletes to take immediate action in response to a groin strain. Unfortunately, many athletes choose to play through groin pain, which can make it worse or add a second injury on top of the strain.

When we’re treating a groin strain, we want not only to help reduce the pain and tenderness that is present, but to help you prevent strain injuries in the future. We may use tools such as NMES or hot and cold therapy to help you as you work through your groin strain. Then, we will design a prevention program to include a proper warm up, strengthening, and sport-specific training, which will help you prevent another groin strain down the line.

Are You Suffering From Snapping Hip Syndrome?