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Snapping hip is the name given to a snapping noise heard within the hip when it is moved. This injury is caused by tight muscles and tendons that snap over bone and bursas during hip movement. A history of the mechanism and location of the injury, usually identifies the underlying musculature involved. Snapping hip which is located to the outside of the hip is suggestive of iliotibial band or gluteus maximus involvement, whereas snapping hip that is anterior and deep indicates iliopsoas tendon involvement. Often the snapping is painless unless a trauma is evident, which may indicate underlying labrum tearing in the hip. Ballet dancers have a high risk of developing this injury due to the repetitive overuse/movements involved in dancing.

Signs and Symptoms:

  • Commonly presents with an audible snap/click in the hip, which may be either painless or painful.
  • Commonly presents with the sensation of the hip subluxating or dislocating.
  • May produce anterior groin pain that is dull or aching in nature and is aggravated by certain hip movements.
  • The pain and snapping may subside with decreased activity and rest.