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Why Does My Knee Click

Do Your Knees Make A Clicking Sound When You Do Squats And Lunges

Why Does My Knee Click With Squatting & Stairs? Is It Serious & How to Fix It

As part of a regular exercise regimen, you may do squats and lunges. Indeed, squats and lunges are beneficial forms of exercise. In recent times, you may have started to notice one or both of your knees making a clicking sound while you do squats or lunges. Naturally, you may be wondering what causes this sound and whether it is a symptom that requires professional attention.

Oftentimes sounds made by the knees when doing squats and lunges, as well as most sounds from other joints in the human body, are classified as normal. In the end, the mechanics of the knees and other joints simply make some level of noise including clicks, cracks and pops when they are in use. Provided a person does not experience any pain when the clicking sound occurs when doing squats and lunges, the noise medically is classified as benign crepitus, according to the Mayo Clinic.

Even though benign crepitus or a harmless knee clicking sound is not harmful , it can be annoying to a person working out. The most effective way of lessening or eliminating a knee clicking sound is to engage in a thorough stretching routine before working out. In addition, enhancing strength training exercises that focus on the knees and legs represents another strategy to lessen this issue.

Massage therapy can also be useful in lessening or eliminating knee clicking sounds associated with squats and lunges. (In addition, a person garners an array of other benefits from massage therapy, including stress reduction.

Dr Bennett Is A Knee Specialist With Many Years Of Experience Treating Knee Pain

Because the causes of knee pain are varied, you should have an experienced knee specialist evaluate your knee injury. Dr. Bennett has many years of experience successfully treating a variety of knee injuries and knee arthritis so call for an appointment to start on the road to recovery from knee pain and knee stiffness. You dont want to ignore knee pain or knee popping or locking. If you do, it can make it more likely that treating your knee injury will require a total knee replacement at some point.

How To Stop Knee Cracking And Popping

If youre having any type of pain, swelling, catching, or locking, those are warning signs that you need to see a doctor, Dr. Slabaugh says. But if youre not having any pain , then doing exercises on your own is very appropriate.

To get started, youll need a few pieces of equipment you can easily find online.

Youll need a long foam roller like this one to do the IT band release.

To alleviate the awkward noises and keep potential injuries at bay, try these exercises, courtesy of Eun Jung Decker at React Physical Therapy, three times a week for maximum results.

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Meet Our World Class Orthopaedic Surgeons



The Bone & Joint Institute of South Georgia in partnership with Wayne Memorial Hospital is now offering an innovative new option for joint replacement surgery. The Mako Robotic-Arm Assisted Surgery System enables our surgeons to perform total knee replacements with a higher level of precision and customization. Using the Mako System, we can provide every patient with a personalized surgical experience based on his or her specific diagnosis and anatomy.

The Mako technology provides your surgeon with a patient-specific 3-D model to pre-plan your total knee replacement. During surgery, they guide the Mako robotic-arm based on your patient-specific plan. This allows the surgeon to remove the diseased bone, preserve healthy bone and soft tissue, and position the implant based on your anatomy.

Patients that have had total knee replacement surgery utilizing the Mako Robotic Arm generally have less post-operative pain, a decreased need for opiate analgesics, spend less time in the hospital, and have a lessor need for in-patient physical therapy.

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Visit A Knee Specialist

Clicking Noise From Knee Replacement

At New York Bone & Joint Specialists, we treat all types of orthopedic disorders, including traumas and degenerative diseases of the knee. If your knee has become painful due to age or injury, its time to book an appointment with our staff. We can recommend effective treatment options and get you back on track.

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When Should Someone See A Doctor/specialist For Painful Knee Clicking

This depends on the severity of the pain:

  • : This can be safely ignored for around six weeks. If there is no improvement, consulting a physiotherapist might be helpful.
  • Mild pain: This pain should be addressed by a physiotherapist.
  • Severe pain: This warrants seeing a doctor within a few weeks. If your mobility is very restricted go to see your doctor as soon as you can.

What You Can Do About This Condition

  • There are various treatments available for osteoarthritis. You may be prescribed nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs by your physician and may be asked to apply ice packs to decrease inflammation. You may use a brace to rest and support the knee. You can also do physical therapy exercises which will help strengthen the muscles surrounding the knee joint and enhance the range of motion. Some cases may require surgery or joint replacement.

  • Nonsurgical treatment of a meniscal tear is done using ice, rest, compression, elevation and physical therapy. Wearing a knee brace may be required temporarily. A meniscal tear may require surgical repair to sew the tear or partial meniscectomy, in which the torn meniscus is removed.

  • Treatment of cartilage tear includes using rest, ice, elevation, taking painkillers and physical therapy. Surgery may be required if the symptoms do not improve after a few days by non surgical treatment.

Complimentary or Alternative Treatments for Knee Clicking

For the knee clicking when walking there are some natural remedies that you can explore. However, please keep in mind that these remedies have not been proven to be clinically effective, but there is some epidemiological and anecdotal evidence present that shows they have some effect. These remedies are Omega-3 fatty acids , glucosamine and chondroitin, ice packs and heat packs.

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When To Be Concerned About Joints Popping

Most of the time, this popping and creaking of joints is harmless. However, crepitus is also a symptom of the joint degeneration that leads to osteoarthritis.

You should worry about joint popping if:

  • It’s occurring frequently in one location
  • It’s accompanied by pain
  • It’s accompanied by joint swelling, tenderness, or stiffness
  • You’re also having pain as a result of prolonged joint movement, such as when walking

If you’re experiencing pain when a joint pops or you have any other of the symptoms listed above, talk with your doctor. If your symptoms and test results indicate it, your doctor may diagnose osteoarthritis and start treatment. Treatments for osteoarthritis can ease pain, improve mobility, and slow disease progressionespecially if it’s caught early.

Can I Avoid Or Postpone A Knee Replacement

Why Does My Knee Click, Creak, or Pop When I Squat? How to Fix + Giveaway!

The choice on whether to have surgery to address arthritis of the knee joint depends on multiple factors, including:

  • the condition of the knee joint
  • the patientâs age and activity level

In cases where the damage from arthritis is minimal, and/or if the patient does not have a very active lifestyle, nonsurgical treatments by be tried, including:

  • physical therapy
  • weight loss to reduce pressure on the knee

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Is It Normal For My Knees To Crack All The Time

Many people experience popping or cracking in their knees when squatting, and while this can sound concerning, it is actually very common. As long as you dont have pain or swelling associated with your knee popping, you most likely dont have anything to worry about. There are a few reasons why your knees may develop these sounds. As we get older, the cartilage in the knees can develop uneven areas due to wear and tear. The ligaments in the knee joint could also be tightening or shifting as you move, creating an audible sound.

If the popping or cracking in your knees is painful or leads to swelling, you should schedule an appointment with your doctor to be evaluated. An injury or chronic condition in the knee may require treatment to alleviate your pain and restore your range of motion. If the cartilage in your knee has undergone excessive wear and broken down, such as from arthritis, you will likely be recommended conservative therapies to manage your symptoms. Osteoarthritis, the most common type of arthritis, can gradually damage the cartilage in your knee and make it difficult to move normally without pain. In these cases, knee replacement surgery may eventually become necessary if other treatments do not provide adequate relief.

Weak Or Sore Leg Muscles

Many people experience soreness and weakness in their leg following surgery. Remember, your muscles and joints need time to strengthen!

A 2018 study reported that the quadriceps and hamstring muscles may not regain their full strength with usual rehabilitation exercises, so talk to your physical therapist about ways to strengthen these muscles.

Sticking with an exercise program can make your new joint as strong as that of an adult of the same age with their original knee.

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Management Of Noise Around The Knee

Again, it is important to differentiate between physiological and pathological noises. Physiological noise in the knee is common, but usually painless and harmless. If there is no pathological condition, there is no need to be concerned about the noise. It is sufficient to explain the cause of the noise to patients and reassure them. Various exercises for stretching and strengthening the musculotendinous structures may be beneficial for especially ligament snapping. Hip flexor, iliotibial band, and calf muscle stretching are common stretching exercises, while side steps performed with a resistance band, inner thigh squats, and vastus medialis obliquus activation are popular strengthening exercises.,

Q+a: Why Do My Knees Click When I Run

Trainer Q& A: Why Does My Knee Crack and Pop?

Q Every time I run, my knee clicks loudly but painlessly. Its annoying rather than painful. The noise comes from below and outside the kneecap. Is it, or the cartilage, damaged? I broke my kneecap when I was 12 could this be a cause?


Its unlikely that you have suffered a cartilage injury, as you say that there is no pain, and dont mention any excessive swelling following training both of which you would expect with damaged cartilage.

There are therefore two probable explanations for your problem. Tightness in the soft tissue around the knee or weakness in certain muscle groups can cause problems with the tracking of the patello-femoral joint . If this occurs, clicking would be the usual symptom, particularly when you start to bend the knee.

The second cause could be tightness in your iliotibial band. This will tend to pull the kneecap excessively to the outside and worsen any alignment problem . Iliotibial tightness can also cause increased friction and subsequent clicking as it passes over the outside of the femur.

Over the long term, these problems will tend to increase patello-femoral wear, and can lead to further injury without proper treatment. Seek the advice of a chartered physiotherapist. They can tell you what stretches and exercises may be required.

Despite all this, your problem has quite a simple explanation and you definitely dont have to hang your trainers up just yet.

Andy Caldwell, chartered physiotherapist

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What Are The Causes Of Knee Clicking When Walking

1. Cartilage rubbing: A knee joint is composed of a number of parts that are required for its optimum functioning, one of this is cartilage. Cartilage is a tissue that covers and protects the bones however, over time this tissue can become uneven. During the bending of knee, there is rubbing of cartilage and if the cartilage is uneven there may be a clicking or cracking or popping sound. This happens more commonly as you age but is no cause to worry.

2. Ligament tightening: Ligaments are tissues that connect your bones and they shorten and lengthen as you move. In some cases, there is tightening of ligaments but not enough to result in injury this also can cause the clicking and popping sound.

3. Lack of synovial fluid: Since the joints are made up of all the moving parts, there is lot of rubbing of these parts over each other. And though the raw friction of bone on bone can be extremely painful, this does not happen in cases where the joint is healthy. Synovial fluid aids in the smooth glide between the ligaments and cartilage. The function of synovial fluid is to protect the bones from rubbing together. It consists of oxygen, carbon dioxide and nitrogen. While bending or stretching, these gases may escape the knee joint resulting in a clicking or popping sound. Again, this is no cause to worry about.

When clicking of the knee joint is associated with pain and swelling, then the causes could be:

Crepitus Following Surgery Or Trauma

published in Clinics in Orthopedic Surgery shows that up to 18 percent of people who have a total knee arthroplasty , or knee replacement, will experience crepitus. This may due to the design and fit of the new knee.

This type of crepitus usually resolves without intervention.

However, if problems persist, a doctor may recommend debridement, a minor surgical procedure to remove debris from around the joint.

Another reason for crepitus after surgery is arthofibrosis, or the development of scar tissue. This can lead to pain and stiffness in the joint. It can also happen after a traumatic injury.

If the person experiences pain and stiffness after an injury or surgery, they should see a doctor. The doctor may recommend monitoring the knee, and it may need treatment.

Often, however, crepitus that follows an injury or surgery is not serious. Doctors , for some people, the crepitus may have been there before, but an increased awareness how the joint is reacting makes it more noticeable now.

Often, say the researchers, reassurance and rehabilitation are enough.

Treatment may not be necessary. If it is, the options will depend on the cause, as outlined above.

If crepitus occurs with exercise, the person should not stop exercising but modify the exercise.

Precautionary measures include:

When exercising, people should always listen to their body. If there is pain, they should stop. Always exercise in moderation and stretch before exercising.

Other ways to protect the knees include:

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What To Do If The Knees Click When You Bend Or Straighten Them

If the knee clicking is not causing any pain or hindrance in daily movements, then it is not a cause for concern. It the patient has difficulty in moving and also has other symptoms such as pain and swelling in the knee joint, then it is important to seek medical attention immediately. Treatment will depend on the cause of the knee clicking and includes: rest, medicines, exercises physical therapy etc.

Written, Edited or Reviewed By:Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA Pain Assist Inc.This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimerLast Modified On: December 7, 2017

Knee Noise: Crepitus And Popping Explained

Why Does My Knee Click When I Squat & How Do I Fix This?

You may hear occasional pops, snaps, and crackles when you bend or straighten your knees, or when you walk or go up or down stairs.

Doctors call this crackling sound crepitus .

One explanation for why this happens is osteoarthritis, but there are many other causes. In most cases, noisy knees arent a problem. However, if you have pain, too, you might want to consider asking a doctor to check out your knees.

Crepitus in the knees is different from crepitus or crackling in the lungs, which can be a sign of a respiratory problem.

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When To Seek Formal Care For Knee Clicking

There are a few primary symptoms to watch out for that would warrant a visit to your sports medicine doctor for further investigation.

  • If you are experiencing locking or catching sensations, this is an indicator that you may have torn your meniscus. A meniscus tear is best managed with medical guidance.
  • If you hear a loud pop or have sudden knee instability, especially after a high impact knee injury, the integrity of your ligaments such as the ACL, may need to be assessed.
  • If your knee clicking is associated with joint pain and stiffness that is gradually getting worse, you may need to start formal treatment for osteoarthritis.
  • Depending on the severity of your injury, you may then be referred to an orthopedic surgeon.

Exercises For Knee Clicking

Weak muscles in the thighs contribute to knee instability and clicking. Strengthening the quadriceps on the front of the thigh and hamstrings on the rear give the knee support. Also, stretching exercises for the iliotibial or IT band relieve tension that could be pulling the knee to the side.

The IT band is a fibrous band of tissue that runs along the outer thigh and down just past the knee. This tension is common especially for people with runner’s knee. During recovery and to prevent further complications, always warm up before exercise. A warm-up can be simply marching in place. It is a way to increase your heart rate and warm up the muscles to make them more elastic.

Read more:Quad & Hamstring Stretches

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