Jon Hyman MD Jon Hyman MD
  • Stanford University
  • Stanford University

Iliopsoas Tendon/Snapping Hip Syndrome

The Iliopsoas Tendon originates from two muscles: the Iliacus and the Psoas. These muscles come from the lumbar spine and the inner part of the pelvis. Together they join to form the Iliopsoas tendon. Many patients can feel or hear a 'clunk' or 'snap' when the Iliopsoas tendon rolls over the capsule in their hip.

This typically occurs when the leg goes from flexion (i.e. the knee is up by your chest) into extension (when you straighten your leg all the way out). Simply hearing or feeling a pop or thud is not necessarily a problem. Having PAIN however, each time it pops or clunks can be an indication of a problem.

The painful popping is called a 'Snapping hip' and is difficult to treat without hip arthroscopy. We have very minimally invasive ways to get rid of that problem and hip arthroscopy with partial release of the tendon is one of the best ways. We are very careful to release only a small part of the tendon, so as not to overly weaken the muscle. There is slight weakening that occurs but it is not evident to most patients. Full resumption of activity without pain is the general result after arthroscopic treatment /release of a painful snapping iliopsoas tendon.

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