T Nation

Right Femur / Hip Problem


When I was about 4 I discovered that if I lay on my back and rotated my right knee out toward the ground it would make a loud clicking noise. Felt that the femur was popping out of the hip socket a little. Fairly sedentary... Joined the gym a couple years back.

Lying on my back trying to do leg raises it wouldn't get very far off the ground. Sometimes a bit of a stabby pain in the front of the femur / socket but mostly just felt weak. Can do these okay now - but pretty weak at them (don't practice very often truth be told).

External rotation (e.g., bad girl machine, cobblers pose) after a lot of work - if I concentrate on pulling the femur into the socket while I do the movement I can usually avoid the clicking. Not as smooth a movement as the other leg, though.

Unweighted sumo squats are really hard to stand up - clicky, some dull pain at the anterior of the right femur / front of the hip socket. Very weak. Closer stance squats feel better - but still not 100%. Hip flexors are tight - and I've been working hard on gently stretching them out. Right is tighter than left. Feels like I'm having some problems recruiting my right glute because my right flexor is so tight. When I am recruiting my glute okay sometimes it feels like my femur is jamming painfully against the front of the hip socket, though. After a bit of that I get a tendonitisy / inflammed feeling in the joint / flexor - not sure where precisely.

Get a similar tendonitisy / inflammed feeling in the joint / flexor when walking sometimes. I think recruiting my glute actually makes this worse. Not sure if this makes any sense at all... Hurts to raise my right leg just to walk when it feels like that (usually when walking after a heavy squat session). Feels like the anterior part of the femur is jamming against the socket painfuly.

I've tried googling to figure this out... Caught between just keeping on with the exercises (which do seem to be helping) as maybe it is just that what is loose needs to be tight and vice versa since my way of dealing with this was previously to avoid those movements. Though it was worth mentioning, though, in case someone knows what this might be (e.g., I worry a little that maybe there is a tear or adhesion or something to the cartilage in the joint). Hip replacements are frequent for women in my fathers side of the family. If I need an MRI then that will take some persuading... But if it sounds likely that I have something that could be fixed I'd really really really like to get it fixed.

Advice appreciated.


If this is something that has been occurring since age 4, I'd assume that you have some hip labrum abnormality or capsular issue that is genetic in nature. It could be something that exercise could solve, but may be something that requires surgical intervention. I'd recommend seeing a hip ortho to be evaluated and get some imaging if necessary.


You may have a subluxated femur head and soft-tissue compensations that go with it. See it all the time. There are lots of manual therapy techniques to correct it if that's the case. Go see a DC w/an kinesiology background. Go see an MD too. Rule out any major/surgical problems. Look for a solution that is minimally- or non-invasive if possible. Good luck on your search for an answer.


Yeah, it does sound like that. My hip flexor is tight because that is what is holding my hip together. Thanks. I will see my GP (needs to be first port of call in Aussie) and try my best to get a referral to someone who does sports medicine or something. I'll definitely go with non-invasive if possible. Be sure to do whatever exercises I need to. You wouldn't happen to have a link to exercises that I could do myself would you? Will take me some time to get to a doc.

I guess I'll keep looking in terms of how I might be able to hold my hip together in healthier ways...

And here I was thinking my other (acquired) injuries were limiting me... I guess this is looking congenital. Cries.

I will get a better squat.



sorry - what is a DC?


DC is chiropractor. In Australia, you will probably be better off finding an Osteopath.


ok. thanks.


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I had wondered about that. Found this a while ago:


But then I stopped worrying about this problem (seemed that things were getting a bit better with the stretching / mobility / rolling I was doing).

And now I find that there is something about squatting that I'm simply not getting (hip drive out the hole) and my squat is very weak because of it.

I wasn't quite sure how to do what was mentioned...

Is the idea basically to stop stretching and rolling / inhibiting the flexors...
And then trying to learn how to actively pull the femur into the socket and use the glutes properly to extend the leg?
I guess I've been trying to work on glute activation but without holding my femur properly in the socket I get pain in the front, yeah.

Bizarrely enough (or perhaps not so bizarre) when I do get the pain on walking it helps sometimes to push hard on the anterior of my femur with my hand. Helping push the femur back, I guess.

You wouldn't happen to have a link to exercise demos, would you?

Otherwise I'll just keep working this (and looking around) as best I can.

I will get to a doc (for conservative treatment) when possible.



or maybe gentle stretching of the flexors is okay so long as i'm holding my hip in the socket properly when i'm stretching?

i'll see about getting an insert for my shoe, too because i think the right leg is a bit shorter than the left (calcaneus reconstruction but proper height wasn't properly restored) which while maybe not the cause probably isn't helping...


First, I would schedule a visit to the doctor to rule out anything significant.

Second, during the interim, I would focus a lot on hip extensor muscle activation and strengthening. You could look at your hip IR and ER strength and ROM and address any issues there as well, but just make sure to keep things in a pain free range.