Snap, Pop, or Grating in a Hip
A snap, pop, or grating sound in the hip may be caused by many things, such as an injury or other normal wear-and-tear changes in the hip.
A sudden (acute) injury may occur from a fall on the hip, a direct blow to the hip or knee, or abnormal twisting or bending of the leg. Examples of acute injuries that may cause a snap, pop, or grating sound or feeling include:
- A broken hip (Reference hip fracture Opens New Window Reference Opens New Window) or pelvis (pelvic fracture), such as an Reference avulsion fracture Opens New Window.
- A Reference dislocated hip Opens New Window or Reference sprained hip Opens New Window.
- Reference Muscle strain Opens New Window in the groin or buttock.
- Severe bruising (Reference contusion Opens New Window).
A condition known as iliotibial band syndrome is a painless snap, pop, or grating sensation heard or felt in the hip joint when you sit or squat (not at the time of an injury). The snapping sensation occurs when a tendon moves over a bony point of the hip, pelvis, or upper thighbone (greater trochanter). You may not have hip pain or you may have only mild tenderness. Knee pain, a decreased ability to move the hip, and leg weakness may also be present. Iliotibial band syndrome usually affects people ages 15 to 40 and is a common problem in ballet dancers, athletes (such as distance runners), or people who do similar hip movement exercises.
Other possible causes of a snapping hip include:
- A tight or inflamed iliopsoas Reference tendon Opens New Window that connects the muscles that extend from the pelvis to the top of the femur (greater trochanter).
- Inflammation of the fluid-filled sac that cushions and lubricates the hip joint (Reference trochanteric bursitis).
- Breakdown of the tissue that cushions the joint space from Reference osteoarthritis Opens New Window.
- Scar tissue formation after surgery to replace the hip (a total hip replacement).
Treatment depends on the location, type and severity of the injury as well as your age, general health, and activities (such as work, sports, and hobbies). Treatment may include first aid measures; application of a brace, cast, harness, or traction; physical therapy; medication; or surgery.
|By:||Reference Healthwise Staff||Last Revised: August 2, 2012|
|Medical Review:||Reference William H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine
Reference H. Michael O'Connor, MD - Emergency Medicine