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Iliopsoas Tendonitis and Snapping Hip

The treatment of iliopsoas tendonitis depends on the severity of inflammation of and trauma to the tendon.

In mild cases, iliopsoas tendonitis may be treated with activity modification and anti-inflammatories or a cortisone injection. In more severe cases, it may be treated  surgically. Surgery can remove the inflamed tissue. It can also release the tendon so that catching no longer occurs. In cases where snapping occurs without pain, we generally do not intervene.

What Is Snapping Hip?

Snapping hip or coxa saltans is a general term. It describes a snap or click in the hip that occurs with certain movements. These include flexion and extension (raising and lowering the whole leg) or rotation (twisting of the hip).

What Causes Snapping Hip?

Inflammation of the iliopsoas tendon (hip flexor tendon) is a common cause. This tendon drapes over the front of the hip socket. It can become inflamed from injury or overuse. It can also become inflamed when the hip socket is too prominent, such as with pincer impingement. As the inflamed tendon rubs over the bone of the hip socket, it can catch. This may cause a painful click, which can be felt and sometimes heard.

What Are the Symptoms of Iliopsoas Tendonitis?

Iliopsoas tendonitis is characterized by pain and clicking or snapping in the groin or front of the hip. Because the iliopsoas muscle acts as a hip flexor, symptoms are often worse when bending the hip, especially against resistance. The iliopsoas tendon is fairly close to the skin. Because of this, the front of the hip area or groin may also be tender to the touch.

How Is Iliopsoas Tendonitis Diagnosed?

Your sports medicine physician can often diagnose iliopsoas tendonitis based on your symptoms and with an examination of the hip. Imaging (x-ray and MRI) is generally not required.

Sports Medicine Appointments & Referrals


Sports Medicine Locations

UC San Diego Health offers expertise in sports medicine within family medicine, orthopedics, surgery and rehab. Not all services are available at all locations.

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