The hip can make a clicking sound (or cause a sensation of clicking) for many reasons. It could be:
- Arthritis – osteoarthritis (the "wear and tear" arthritis that comes with age) is the most common, but this would be rare at your age
- Tendonitis, especially iliotibial band syndrome (see below)
- Torn cartilage in the hip
- Hip dysplasia (abnormal growth or development of the hip joint)
- Abnormal friction or contact between the bones of the hip
Femoral acetabular impingement (FAI) is another common cause of hip clicking in young adults. With FAI, an abnormal shape of the bones of the hip puts stress on the bones so the joints don't move smoothly. This may be a form of dysplasia.
Joint noises aren't usually serious. Unless your joint hurts, locks (gets stuck in one position) or feels unstable, treatment may not be necessary. And it may go away on its own. If you have pain or other symptoms, though, it's worth getting your hip checked out.
Find out more about this book:Harvard Medical School Arthritis: Keeping your joints healthy