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
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
tendon that connects the muscles that extend from the
pelvis to the top of the femur (greater trochanter).
Breakdown of the tissue that cushions the joint space from
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.
Primary Medical Reviewer
William H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine
How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.