Snapping Hip Syndrome

External and Internal snapping hip

External snapping hip, otherwise known as dancer’s hip is a medical condition of the hip where a band of connective tissue known as the iliotibial band passes over part of the thigh bone, called the greater trochanter. This may be accompanied by an audible snapping or popping noise, at times resulting in pain, however more often causing a feeling of discomfort.

Internal snapping hip is caused by the iliopsoas tendon snapping over a bony prominence of the pelvis.

Causes of Injury

The most frequent group experiencing snapping hip syndrome are athletes practicing disciplines of intensive hip load and requiring twisting, e.g. ballet. The most frequent causes of injury are:

  • Dysfunction of the knee, e.g. lopsided knees,
  • Anterior hip tilt
  • hip flexion contracture,
  • frequent intramuscular injections in the hip.

What are the symptoms

  • A characteristic noise in certain situations.
  • Every third patient experiences pain.

How to diagnose snapping hip syndrome?

The diagnosis is based on three following elements:

  • I Doctor-Patient interview focusing on ailment, pain and function
  • II Examinations – clinical tests performed by a doctor in the office
  • III Additional examinations such as ultrasound, MRI or X-ray


Typically, snapping hip does not require surgical treatment. This method of treatment is used only in case of bursitis among people complaining about walking disorders, and also in cases where conservative treatment had not been satisfactory. In Rehasport Clinic, snapping hip surgery is performed by a minimally-invasive arthroscopic technique that guarantees fastest recovery.

People suffering from snapping hip are most often treated conservatively. Rehabilitation is aimed at stretching and making structures of high contracture more flexible, restoring proper body posture and proper positioning of the pelvis. Pharmaceutical and physical therapy are used supportively.