What Does A Click In The Hip Mean?
Often we see that whenever we get up after sitting for a long period of time or walking for long distances that we hear an audible “click” or a “pop” in the hip. This usually is followed by pain or an ache in the hip joint area. There are certain other movements of the hip such as when running or dancing that may also cause an individual to hear a click or a pop.
Overuse is believed to be the primary cause for the hip to click as the overused tendons and ligaments get inflamed and rub on the hip joint causing the clicking sound.1
In some cases, a hip click is thought to be a sign of a hip dislocation; however, an individual with hip dislocation will find it tough to ambulate even short distances.
A “hip click” sound in infants does not mean that a baby has hip dysplasia. While a diagnosis of click in the hip may be positive for some babies but many babies with clicking sound in the hip may have normal hips. An infant with a click in the hip should be tested for hip dysplasia. Regular examinations are important for babies especially during the first one or two years of life as babies with normal hip at birth can have hip dislocation as they start developing physically. Hip dysplasia is not easy to detect in infants.
Click in the hip may also be sign of labral tear. A labral tear which is a result of degeneration or trauma is a common cause for clicking sound in the hip joint. Osteoarthritis can lead to degenerative labral tears. Trauma related labral tears can occur due to injury or dislocation of hip joint.
As stated, a click in the hip usually occurs when the inflamed tendons and ligaments in the region of the hip rub against the hip joint as a result of overuse. This will usually be observed after getting up from a seated position, ambulating, running, or dancing.
Dancers and athletes are most at risk for developing a click in the hip.2 Normally, a click in the hip is a benign condition and is more of an annoyance. However, if a Hip Click is left untreated then it may lead to certain medical conditions like bursitis, muscle weakness, and pain which may inhibit the performance if the individual is an athlete or a dancer.
Thus it is highly recommended that if an individual experiences a click in the hip that he or she see an orthopedist immediately to identify a cause for the click and start treatment to prevent any damage to the hip joint in the future due to the Hip Click.
Unless the click in the hip is associated with pain or causes difficulty in sports or day to day activities, it is not necessary to seek medical treatment. Simple remedies like ice application, rest and using OTC pain medications will be more than enough.
If the pain associated with the clicking sound of the hip is very severe and does not respond to home remedies then it is preferable to see a specialist.
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