Why Do My Knees Pop?

Posted on December 19th, 2019 by Orthopaedic Specialty Group

Why Do My Knees Make a Cracking Sound?

Have you bent down to tie your shoes or pick something up and heard a loud crack coming from your knees? This joint noise is called ‘crepitus’, and it’s not uncommon. Here’s what you should know.

Why Joint Noise Occurs

When carbon dioxide builds up in the synovial fluid of your knee joints, it releases as a gas bubble and bursts. When the gas is released, it makes the joints adjust rapidly, causing the popping noise. 

Should I Be Concerned About My Knees Popping?

Most of the time, the cracking sound you hear should cause no need to worry. Some patients fear that this noise is a sign that they will develop arthritis in the joints down the line. There is currently no evidence to support this claim.

If you hear a grinding noise in your knees, this is also typically nothing to be concerned about. Usually, this sound is caused by cartilage rubbing on your knee joint’s surface when you move. You can experience this sensation your entire life without problems.

Pain Associated With Joint Grinding

If your joint noise is accompanied by pain or swelling, you may want to consider speaking to your orthopedic specialist. The most common reasons for knee pain include:

Meniscus tear

Your meniscus is the rubbery disc that cushions your knee and absorbs pressure and shock. If you twist your knee unexpectedly, such as when you move the joint but your foot stays still, you can tear your meniscus.

Cartilage Injury

Your knee is situated just in front of your femur, and if your cartilage begins to rub this area, you may feel some discomfort. When your cartilage wears off or is damaged, it can hang around your knee joint and irritate the surrounding area. Sitting for an extended period of time, climbing, walking, or squatting can become painful. 

Treating Knee Pain

The best course of action to treat your knee pain is to use the RICE method (rest, ice, compression, elevation). You should also consult your doctor in order to identify any possible injuries or conditions that may require treatment. 

To speak with one of our specialists and to book an appointment, contact Orthopaedic Specialty Group online, or give us a call: (203) 337-2600