What is a Snapping Hip?
A snapping hip a sensation of snapping in hip from the catching of connective tissue or muscle on the joint or a bone spur. A snapping hip can be painless or painful depending on the cause. A snapping hip can originate from the front side of the hip or the back side of the hip. Both the front and the backside of the hip snapping are usually painless. However, a snapping hip can by a symptom of a labral tear of the hip joint and this cause of the snapping, or catching sensation, can be quite painful.
What Causes a Snapping Hip?
Damage to the hip joint can cause bone spurs that protrude into areas that catch the connective tissue causing a snapping sensation. Damage like this can commonly be from osteoarthritis of the hip from ageing, alcohol consumption, steroid abuse, trauma, or autoimmune issues. Young athletes may also experience a snapping hip from tight muscles during growth spurts. A good rule of thumb with a snapping hip is that if the snapping sensation is painful then you should see a physician. If the snapping hip is not painful then you can simply cut back on activity for a while and get some rest. Ice, and NSAIDs can also help with any inflammation that may be a contributing factor.
Treating a Snapping Hip
Many times a snapping hip can be treated with R.I.C.E. and NSAIDs, while other times surgical intervention may be needed.
Conservative Treatment for a Snapping Hip
Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation, and NSAIDs can help with inflammation and pain. A trip to a physician may include injections of steroids and the prescribing of physical therapy. Imaging may be used to identify bone spurs or labral tears. If conservative treatment does not help, then surgery can be considered.
Surgical Intervention for a Snapping hip
Surgical intervention for a snapping hip is going to vary depending on the cause of a snapping hip. In the case of bone spurs causing issues surgery can involve shaving off the bone where it is catching while addressing other issues that may also be present such as fraying of muscle and tendon. If the labrum is torn and causing the issue, then the surgeon can clean up the joint so that it functions properly without catching.
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