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Snapping hip syndrome is caused by inflammation or damage to the tendons in the front or side of the hip. Children and teens with snapping hip syndrome may feel or hear a click or pop when their hip moves. This may cause pain that can get worse with activity.

There are three types of snapping hip syndrome. And based on the condition your child or teen has, they may not need treatment. The three different types are:

  • External: This occurs when a band of muscle catches on the outside of the hip bone when the hip is flexed. This is the most common type. It can be painless or painful.
  • Internal: This occurs when the muscles that flex the hip slide over the bony bump on the pelvic bone and cause snapping on the inner upper thigh. Most cases are not painful.
  • Intra-articular: This occurs when a free-floating fragment of bone or cartilage gets caught in the joint. It may require surgery.

External and internal snapping hip syndrome occurs in teens and adults. Most painless clicks in infants and babies are normal, but your pediatrician should help determine whether the click is benign or a sign of hip dysplasia.

The most common symptoms of snapping hip syndrome include:

  • Pain with bending of the hip against resistance or during passive hip extension
  • Snapping in the front or side of the hip
  • Tenderness in the front of the hip, groin or thigh

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If your child or teen has symptoms of snapping hip syndrome, it’s important to get the injury properly diagnosed by a pediatric specialist. The process may include:

If your child or teen is diagnosed with snapping hip syndrome, treatment may include:

  • Resting from activities that increase or cause pain to the hip, slowly returning to sports and activity once the pain is gone and flexibility and strength have improved.
  • Icing the injured area for 15 to 20 minutes during a three-hour span every day.
  • Taking medicine to reduce inflammation.
  • Participating in sports physical therapy to help build strength and flexibility.
  • Undergoing surgery, such as a minimally invasive arthroscopic procedure, which is rarely needed.