While the name “snapping hip syndrome” sounds dramatic, the actual condition is anything but. In fact, most people who have it don’t experience any pain. Their actual complaint is in regards to the “snapping” sound the hip makes during physical activity. If you can relate, here’s everything you need to know:

Related Anatomy

The hip is a ball and socket joint composed of the head of the femur and acetabulum of the hip. Because the hip is responsible for moving the leg in all directions, there are many muscle, tendon, and tissue attachments. In regards to snapping hip syndrome, the important attachment is that of the iliotibial band that passes over the outside portion of the head of the femur.

Illustration 1– The iliotibial (IT) band travels the length of the femur

Because the band is stretched taught, it can make a snapping or pop noise when it moves. This is referred to as snapping hip syndrome.


The cause of snapping hip syndrome is hip, leg, and buttock muscle tightness. Athletes and active individuals who rotate their hips without properly stretching are prone to develop the condition. In addition, due to the rapid growth of their muscles, so are young people.


Treatment consists of a combination of activity modification and stretching exercises. If physical therapy is needed, it can be prescribed by an orthopedic specialist.


In most cases, the above-mentioned treatments will eliminate snapping hip syndrome. If they don’t, they’re might be something else going on and an appointment with an orthopedic specialist should be made.

Making an Appointment

If you have snapping hip syndrome and are ready for it to go away, please contact one of our 5 Long Island offices to arrange an appointment with one of our orthopedic specialists. Their treatment plan will help get rid of the “snapping” noise and improve the strength and flexibility of your lower body. When you choose our clinic, you can expect a full recovery.

At Total Orthopedics and Sports Medicine, our prestigious Hip Program is led by Board Certified Orthopedic Surgeon Dr. Richard McCormack.  Dr. McCormack attended Harvard University where he was captain of the two-time national championship winning Harvard Lightweight Rowing team. He graduated magna cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts in Biochemistry.  He completed his sports medicine fellowship training at the Lenox Hill Hospital where Dr. McCormack served as the assistant team physician for the New York Jets, New York Islanders, Hunter College, and the U.S. Open Tennis Championships, allowing him to gain experience taking care of a range of injuries and athletes across different levels of competition.