There are many causes of clicking snapping and popping around the hip. Much like "Anterior Knee Pain" we must avoid using this term as a diagnosis.
Lateral extra articular snapping - Trochanteric Bursitis
The more common lateral extra articular type of snapping hip syndrome occurs when the iliotibial band, tensor fascia lata, or gluteus medius tendon slides back and forth across the greater trochanter. This normal action becomes a snapping hip syndrome when one of these connective tissue bands thickens and catches with motion. The underlying bursa may also become inflamed, causing a painful external snapping hip syndrome.
Medial extra-articular snapping - Psoas Bursitis
Less commonly, the iliopsoas tendon catches on the anterior inferior iliac spine (AIIS), the lesser trochanter, or the iliopectineal ridge during hip extension, as the tendon moves from an anterior lateral (front, side) to a posterior medial (back, middle) position. With overuse, the resultant friction may eventually cause painful symptoms, resulting in muscle trauma, bursitis, or inflammation in the area.
Any mechanical derangement in the hip can cause friction and disrupt the normally smooth movement of the hip joint:-
© Mr Gavin Holt :: CotswoldClinics.com :: Print this frame