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J Bone Joint Surg Br. 1995 Nov;77(6):881-3.

Surgical release of the 'snapping iliopsoas tendon'.

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  • 1Southampton University Hospitals NHS Trust, England, UK.


We report 22 patients (19 women and three men) of mean age 20.8 years who had painful snapping sensations in the groin. Most were able to reproduce the click by extending the affected hip from a flexed, abducted and externally rotated position and most were tender in the adductor triangle. Plain radiographs and an arthrogram were normal. A clinical diagnosis of subluxation of the iliopsoas tendon was made. Conservative management failed in 14 patients, two of whom had bilateral pain. All 14 had surgical release of the iliopsoas tendon through a medial approach. At follow-up (mean 17 months) the click had resolved in ten hips, was occasional but painless in five and unchanged in one. The syndrome of a painful 'snapping' psoas may result in disproportionately disabling symptoms. It may be diagnosed on clinical grounds and effectively treated, when severe, by release of the iliopsoas tendon.

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