Snapping Hip Syndrome or Coxa Saltans is a benign condition of the hip in which the affected individual hears a snapping sound whenever there is any movement of the hip joint such as when ambulating, getting up from a seated position, running or dancing. The individual experiences a snapping sound as a result of inflammation of the tendons or ligaments surrounding the hip joint. This is primarily because of overuse and when the inflamed tendons rub against the hip socket the snapping sound is produced.
Hip Snapping Syndrome is more of an annoyance than a true medical condition. However, it requires medical treatment because, if left untreated, it may result in damage to the hip joint. In some athletes and dancers, Hip Snapping Syndrome may result in muscle weakness which may cause pain and affect the performance of such individuals.
In some cases, the hip gets locked as a result of Hip Snapping Syndrome causing a lot of pain for the affected individual to the extent that it becomes difficult for the individual to carry out activities of daily living.
How Is Snapping Hip Syndrome Diagnosed?
In order to diagnose Hip Snapping Syndrome, the treating physician will first take a detailed history of the patient. This is basically done to rule out any overuse that can be causing the snapping sensation in the hip, especially if the individual is a professional dancer or an athlete. The extent of the symptoms will be observed by the physician. He may also ask the patient to move the hip or walk around the room to see if there is any reproduction of pain.
The physician will then perform a focused physical examination of the hip joint looking for any tender areas. A hip range of motion will also be conducted to look whether any motion is compromised because of the symptoms. Once a physical examination is completed, a radiological test will be ordered in the form of x-rays of the hip joint to look for any areas of inflammation.
An MRI of the hip may also be ordered to rule out certain other medical conditions like hip arthritis, hip synovitis, or tumors that may also cause Hip Snapping Syndrome. Once all these conditions have been ruled out, then a diagnosis is confirmed of Hip Snapping Syndrome.