Understanding and Treating the Snapping Hip

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Abstract

Snapping hip, or coxa saltans is a palpable or auditory snapping with movement of the hip joint. Extra-articular snapping is divided into external and internal types, and is caused laterally by the iliotibial band and anteriorly by the iliopsoas tendon. Snapping of the iliopsoas usually requires contraction of the hip flexors and may be difficult to distinguish from intra-articular coxa saltans. Ultrasound can be a useful modality to dynamically detect tendon translation during hip movement to support the diagnosis of extra-articular snapping. Coxa saltans is typically treated with conservative measures including anti-inflammatories, stretching, and avoidance of inciting activities. Recalcitrant cases are treated with surgery to lengthen the iliopsoas or the iliotibial band.

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