Diagnosis and Treatment of Snapping Hip in Wake County

What is Snapping Hip?

Snapping hip is a condition characterized by an audible snapping or clicking noise that originates from the hip area during movement. Another name for this condition is Coxa Saltans. While snapping hip syndrome may not always cause pain, it may interfere with mobility and limit a person’s ability to perform certain movements. Additionally, snapping hip may, in time, lead to a more serious condition called hip bursitis. Learn more about snapping hip and how it is treated by our hip specialists at Raleigh Orthopaedic below.

Causes of Snapping Hip

Generally, snapping hip syndrome is caused by the strong band of thigh tissue snapping over the greater trochanter of your femur bone. In other cases, your tendon may snap over part of your pelvis bone, though this is less common. Snapping hip can also develop in young people as they grow, usually during growth spurts. This is the result of the bone growing faster than the tendons or muscles.

Snapping Hip Risk Factors

Activities that involve frequent walking or bending may eventually lead to the development of snapping hip. If you participate in sports such as dance, aerobics, running, soccer, or football, or you continuously use the same muscles over and over, you may develop snapping hip.

Symptoms of Snapping Hip

If you notice any of the signs and symptoms of snapping hip, whether they occur suddenly or follow a sports injury, we encourage you to schedule an appointment with an orthopedic specialist today. Symptoms of snapping hip to watch out for include:

  • An audible snap while moving the legs or hips
  • Hip tightness
  • Weakness of the leg
  • A swollen hip
  • Pain in the hip area
  • Difficulty moving the hip
  • Trouble standing from a seated position

How is Snapping Hip Diagnosed?

The diagnosis of snapping hip begins with a physical examination, during which your doctor will ask you about your medical history, your injury, and your symptoms. Imaging tests such as X-rays may also be performed to help rule out more serious issues in the hip area. From there, your doctor at Raleigh Orthopaedic will create a personalized treatment plan for you based on your unique condition and goals for your recovery. We will ensure that all of your questions are answered along the way and that you feel confident in your care plan.

Treatment Options for Snapping Hip at Raleigh Orthopaedic

Nonsurgical Treatment

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Usually, medical management of snapping hip syndrome is very conservative. This includes resting the area, reducing activity, taking anti-inflammatory medications or injections, and finally, starting a physical therapy program. Raleigh Orthopaedic is proud to give our patients convenient access to physical and occupational therapy services in Wake County. Our therapists work closely with our physicians to design treatment plans tailored to each patient. We strive to optimize our patients’ quality of life through exercise, hands-on care, and education.

Surgical Treatment Options

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In cases where snapping hip impedes the day-to-day life of an individual and does not get better with rest or physical therapy, surgical intervention may be the best next step. This is especially true if the condition seems to continue to decline. Because surgery for snapping hip is non-invasive (arthroscopic surgery) this may be the best option for a patient in the long run. Surgery can help prevent more serious and painful conditions such as hip bursitis. If your doctor determines that surgery is the best next step for you, we will explain the options available to you. Our specialists perform orthopedic surgery at our surgery centers in Raleigh and Panther Creek.

Snapping Hip Recovery Time

While surgery is sometimes recommended for snapping hip, many patients will recover with rest, physical therapy, and the passage of time. Healing often occurs after 2 to 6 weeks. For athletes, return to play can occur as soon as one is able to perform usual, sport-related activities without pain. Because arthroscopic surgery is minimally-invasive, requiring only the smallest of incisions, recovery time is greatly reduced, though highly dependent on each patient and the exact surgical strategy utilized.

Can Snapping Hip Be Prevented?

It may not always be possible to avoid the development of snapping hip syndrome, but there are certain steps you can take to avoid injury to the hip area. Avoiding overall orthopedic injury is helpful in preventing common hip problems, including snapping hip, hip bursitis, and more. We encourage our patients to partake in the following precautionary measures:

  • Stretch and warm up before sports
  • Exercise to help strengthen core muscles
  • Schedule an exam early for hip pain that doesn’t go away

Expert Hip Care at Raleigh Orthopaedic

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There is no reason to live every day with hip pain and let your pain interfere with your daily activities. At Raleigh Orthopaedic, we have convenient clinic locations across Wake County, NC, with specialists who can help diagnose and treat your hip-related condition. Call or book an appointment online today to step into a pain-free life with help from our team of caring professionals. We look forward to helping you get started on the road to recovery!