(708) 236-2701

Iliopsoas Tendonitis

What is the iliopsoas?

The iliopsoas tendon is a strong fibrous structure that plays a crucial role in hip flexion and stability. It is formed by the fusion of the iliacus muscle and the psoas major muscle, which originate from the iliac fossa and lumbar spine, respectively. The tendon courses down the front of the hip joint and inserts onto the lesser trochanter of the femur. The iliopsoas tendon functions to flex the hip joint, bringing the thigh towards the abdomen, and also plays a role in pelvic stability and posture. It is involved in various activities such as walking, running, and climbing stairs. Injuries or irritation to the iliopsoas tendon can result in conditions such as iliopsoas tendinitis or snapping hip syndrome, leading to pain and dysfunction in the hip region.

What is iliopsoas tendonitis?

Iliopsoas tendonitis, also known as hip flexor tendonitis, is a condition characterized by inflammation or irritation of the iliopsoas tendon. This inflammation can occur due to overuse, repetitive movements, or sudden trauma, leading to pain and discomfort in the front of the hip or groin area.

What are the causes of iliopsoas tendonitis?

Iliopsoas tendonitis occurs due to inflammation or irritation of the iliopsoas tendon, which connects the iliopsoas muscle to the femur. Several factors contribute to this condition, including:

Chronic Overuse:

Repetitive Motions: Activities involving repeated hip flexion, such as running, cycling, or dancing, can gradually strain the iliopsoas tendon, leading to inflammation and tendonitis over time.

Muscle Imbalance: Weakness or imbalance in the muscles surrounding the hip joint, including the iliopsoas muscle and its synergists, can increase stress on the iliopsoas tendon, predisposing it to injury.

Aging and Degeneration: With age, tendons naturally undergo degenerative changes, becoming less elastic and more susceptible to injury. Degeneration within the iliopsoas tendon can contribute to tendonitis, particularly in older individuals.

Acute Trauma:

Falls: Landing directly onto the hip or experiencing a sudden impact can strain or injure the iliopsoas tendon, leading to tendonitis.

Impact Injuries: Direct impact, such as during contact sports or accidents, can cause trauma to the iliopsoas tendon, resulting in inflammation and tendonitis.

Sudden Movements: Abrupt movements or sudden changes in direction, especially during athletic activities or lifting heavy objects, can overload the iliopsoas tendon and cause irritation or inflammation.

What are the symptoms of iliopsoas tendonitis?

  • Pain or tenderness in the front of the hip or groin area.
  • Pain worsens with activities that involve hip flexion, such as walking, running, or climbing stairs.
  • Stiffness or limited range of motion in the hip joint.
  • Pain may radiate down the front of the thigh or into the lower back.
  • Discomfort when lifting the knee towards the chest or during prolonged sitting.

How is iliopsoas tendonitis diagnosed

During your visit, Dr. Shane J. Nho will conduct a thorough physical examination, assessing the hip region for tenderness and swelling. X-rays may be obtained to assess for any bony abnormalities, such as femoroacetabular impingement (FAI) or hip dysplasia, that may predispose to iliopsoas tendonitis. MRI can provide detailed visualization of the iliopsoas tendon and surrounding structures, confirming the diagnosis and assessing the extent of tendon inflammation or damage.

At a Glance

Dr. Shane Nho

  • Board-certified, fellowship-trained orthopedic surgeon
  • Team Physician for Chicago Bulls, White Sox, Steel
  • Performs more than 700 procedures each year
  • Learn more