Snapping iliotibial band

What is it?

This is when the iliotibial band slides backwards and forwards over the bony prominence of the hip (greater trochanter). In severe cases the movement of the tendon is visible and the patient often describes that the hip is coming in and out of its socket.


The snapping is usually mild but can be very disruptive and painful. In some cases, the snapping can be heard by other people.


After discussing your symptoms, the specialist can confirm a diagnosis using ultrasound. An X-Ray and MRI are also usually performed to exclude other hip conditions.


Whilst patients may adjust to mild symptoms or benefit from stretching programmes, surgical release of the iliotibial band either using arthroscopy or through a small incision may be the only effective option.

Important: This information is only a guideline to help you understand your treatment and what to expect. Every person is different and your rehabilitation may be quicker or slower than other people’s. Please contact us for advice if you are worried about any aspect of your health or recovery.

Arthroscopy is a type of keyhole surgery used to diagnose and treat joint problems.
Hip replacement surgery is carried out when other treatments such as medication and changes in your activities and lifestyle have not relieved your symptoms.
This procedure involves changing the orientation of the hip socket in patients with hip dysplasia.

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