Endoscopic treatment of snapping hips, iliotibial band, and iliopsoas tendon

Sports Med Arthrosc Rev. 2010 Jun;18(2):120-7. doi: 10.1097/JSA.0b013e3181dc57a5.


Indications for endoscopic surgery of the hip have expanded recently. The technique has found a clear indication in the management of snapping hip syndromes, both external snapping hip and internal snapping hip. Even though the snapping hips (external and internal) share a common name, they are very different in origin. The external snapping hip is produced by the iliotibial band snapping over the prominence of the greater trochanter during flexion and extension. Indication for surgical treatment is painful snapping with failure of conservative treatment. The endoscopic technique is designed to release the iliotibial band producing a diamond shape defect on the iliotibial band lateral to the greater trochanter. The defect allows the greater trochanter to move freely without snapping. The greater trochanteric bursa is resected through the defect and the abductor tendons inspected. This procedure is performed without traction and usually only the peritrochanteric space is accessed. If necessary, hip arthroscopy can also be performed. There is limited literature regarding the results of endoscopic treatment for the external snapping hip syndrome, but early reports are encouraging. The internal snapping hip syndrome is produced by the iliopsoas tendon snapping over the iliopectineal eminence or the femoral head. The snapping phenomenon usually occurs with extension of the hip from a flexed position of more than 90 degree. Two different endoscopic techniques have been described to treat this condition. Iliopsoas tendon release at the level of the hip joint, with this technique the iliopsoas bursa is accessed through an anterior hip capsulotomy and is frequently referred to as a transcapsular release. The second technique is a release at the insertion of the iliopsoas tendon on the lesser trochanter, with this technique the iliospaos bursa is accessed directly. In every report the iliopsoas tendon release has been combined with arthroscopy of the hip joint. It has been documented that more than half of the patients with internal snapping hip syndrome have intra-articular hip pathology. The results of endoscopic release of the iliopsoas tendon in the treatment of internal snapping hip syndrome are encouraging and seem to be better than those reported for open procedures.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Arthroscopy / methods*
  • Femur / surgery
  • Hip Joint / surgery*
  • Humans
  • Ilium / surgery*
  • Orthopedic Procedures / methods
  • Range of Motion, Articular
  • Reconstructive Surgical Procedures
  • Suture Techniques
  • Tendinopathy / surgery*
  • Tendons / surgery*
  • Tibia / surgery*
  • Treatment Outcome