Phone: 817-697-4038 Fax: 877-409-3962


If you suffer from clicking, catching, or locking sensations in the hip joint, please Schedule an appointment with one of our orthopedic specialists as soon as possible.

What Is Instability?

Instability in the context of the hip refers to a condition where there is abnormal movement or laxity in the hip joint. It can be categorized as either traumatic instability or atraumatic instability.

  1. Traumatic instability: Traumatic hip instability occurs as a result of a sudden injury or trauma to the hip joint. It can be caused by events such as a dislocation, subluxation (partial dislocation), or a significant force applied to the hip joint. Traumatic instability often involves damage to the ligaments, labrum (a ring of cartilage that surrounds the hip socket), or other structures supporting the joint.
  2. Atraumatic instability: Atraumatic hip instability refers to instability that occurs without any apparent injury or trauma. It can result from inherent anatomical abnormalities, such as shallow hip sockets (hip dysplasia) or laxity in the joint capsule and ligaments. Atraumatic instability may also be associated with underlying conditions such as hypermobility syndrome or connective tissue disorders.

Indication Of Instability

Common symptoms of hip instability include:

  1. Pain in the groin, hip, or buttock region
  2. A sensation of the hip “giving way” or feeling unstable
  3. Clicking, catching, or locking sensations in the hip joint
  4. Limited range of motion or difficulty in performing certain movements
  5. Recurrent episodes of hip subluxation or dislocation (in cases of traumatic instability)

Diagnosis of hip instability involves a comprehensive evaluation by a healthcare professional, which may include a physical examination, review of medical history, imaging tests (such as X-rays, MRI, or CT scans), and sometimes specialized tests to assess joint stability.

Treatments For Instability

Treatment options for hip instability depend on the underlying cause, severity of symptoms, and individual factors. Conservative approaches may include:

  1. Physical therapy: Targeted exercises and stretching to improve hip stability, strengthen supporting muscles, and enhance proprioception (awareness of joint position).
  2. Activity modification: Avoiding or modifying activities that exacerbate instability or place excessive stress on the hip joint.
  3. Assistive devices: Using crutches or a brace to provide support and stability during the healing process or to manage symptoms.

In cases where conservative measures are insufficient or if there is significant joint damage, surgical intervention may be considered. Surgical options can include:

  1. Hip arthroscopy: Minimally invasive surgery to address underlying joint abnormalities, repair or reconstruct damaged structures, and stabilize the hip joint.
  2. Open surgical procedures: In certain cases, open surgery may be necessary, such as hip reconstruction, joint stabilization, or in severe cases, hip replacement surgery.

The choice of treatment will be determined by the specific cause and severity of the instability, as well as the individual’s goals and overall health. Consulting with a healthcare professional, such as an orthopedic specialist or hip preservation specialist, is crucial to accurately diagnose the condition and develop an appropriate treatment plan.


If you would like to speak to an Orthopedic Foot and Ankle Specialist, give us a call at 817-697-4038, or contact us over the web. Telemedicine appointments are also available.