Purpose: External coxa saltans or “snapping hip” is a rare, debilitating condition for athletes. Coxa saltans is an audible and possibly painful snap localized to the hip. The cause is often a diagnostic and management conundrum. The purpose of this case report is to add to the understanding of this condition and treatment options.
Case: A 17-year-old equestrian rider had pain and snapping of the tendon with an audible cavitation of the joint with both weight-bearing and non-weight-bearing movements. The condition interfered with athletics and daily living.
Methods: She was treated with low force chiropractic techniques, lifestyle management, and rehabilitation to restore normal movement and weight-bearing capacity to the pelvic joints, hip joints, and foot, and normalize the resting length and tone to muscle groups.
Outcomes: Treatment was monitored over 16 weeks. Using these methods the patient was able to successfully resume competition at the highest level, and markedly improve posture and gait function.
Discussion: Compared to other hip conditions, coxa saltans is an uncommon cause of hip pain and dysfunction. Some athletes performing repetitive movements may develop symptomatic snapping of the hip, leading to joint pain and impaired function. Chiropractic techniques address underlying causes and may help correct the dysfunctional biomechanics.
Conclusion: The patient responded favorably to chiropractic management, soft tissue therapy, home care, exercises, and orthotics. She regained full range of motion and capacity for activities of daily living and sport participation.
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