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Hip Pelvis. 2017 Sep;29(3):187-193. doi: 10.5371/hp.2017.29.3.187. Epub 2017 Sep 6.

External Snapping Hip Treated by Effective Designed N-plasty of the Iliotibial Band.

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Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Soonchunhyang University Cheonan Hospital, Cheonan, Korea.
Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, KonKuk University Medical Center, Seoul, Korea.
Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Soonchunhyang University Seoul Hospital, Seoul, Korea.



The purpose of this study is to present the effective design of N-plasty of the iliotibial band and surgical results of its use as a treatment for refractory external snapping hip.


We evaluated 17 patients (24 cases) with external snapping hip who underwent N-plasty between October 2013 and May 2016 and who were followed up for at least 12 months. All patients were male and the mean age was 20.8 years. The mean duration of symptoms prior to surgical intervention was 28.5 months with an average follow up of 24.5 months. Surgery was defined as being successful when patients could carry out their daily activities and exercise without a clicking sensation or pain 6 months after surgery until their last follow-up. Failure was defined when either a clicking sensation or pain was present. The visual analog scale (VAS) and modified Harris hip score (mHHS) were measured and compared preoperatively and at last follow-up.


All patients had complete resolution of pain and snapping. The VAS decreased from 6.77 preoperatively to 0.09 postoperatively and mHHS improved from 69.5 to 97.8 after surgery.


Modified designed N-plasty is considered to be an excellent treatment method facilitating operation reproducibility with maximum elongation effect of the iliotibial band.


External snapping hip; Iliotibial band; N-plasty

Conflict of interest statement

CONFLICT OF INTEREST: The authors declare that there is no potential conflict of interest relevant to this article.

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