Dancers hip (Snapping hip syndrome)

Snapping hip syndrome (coxa saltans) is a condition which is clinically characterised by an audible or palpable snapping sensation heard or felt during hip movement. Commonly it is due to overuse but can also be brought on by trauma.

Snapping can be seen to be coming from an internal mechanism or an external mechanism. External snapping hip is commonly caused by a band of fascia called the iliotibial band connected to a muscles called the tensor fascia lata in the hip snapping over the greater trochanter, a bone in the hip, during movements such an hip flexion, extension, internal rotation and external rotation. Internal snapping is most commonly caused by the iliopsoas tendon snapping over underlying bony prominences in the hip.

The groups seen to be typically affected by this condition include those who do repetitive extreme hip motions for example dancers, weight lifters, soccer players or runners and more so common in females rather than males.

Approximately 5-10% of those affected by snapping hip syndrome, experience painless snapping. However, some symptoms may arise and this can often develop and increase over a long period of time, typically months to years.

Some symptoms that may arise include tenderness over greater trochanter, pain with the snap, visual or palpable snapping under the patient’s skin and an audible snap.

When pain is not present in the condition then treatment is not necessary. When pain is present then treatment is conservative and will commonly consist of rest, stretching, oral anti-inflammatory medications, physiotherapy prescribed strengthening and stretching and activity modification.

Majority of patients will get relief from conservative measures but in the situation where this doesn’t, surgical intervention can be considered.

Laura Campbell

Laura Campbell

Laura Campbell is a physiotherapist situated in Double Bay within Sydney's Eastern Suburbs. Laura specialises in effectively addressing musculoskeletal issues through comprehensive assessments, evidence-based diagnoses, and personalised rehabilitation plans crafted to suit each person's specific needs and objectives.

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