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Why Does Your Knee Pop

Less Common Causes Of Knee Pain

Why Does My Knee Snap, Crack, or Pop? Is it Harmful? What To Do?

Less-common causes of significant knee pain include conditions and injuries. Injuries include:

  • Dislocated kneecap: Causes are sharp blows to the knee or twisting. Severe pain in the front of the knee plus buckling, slipping, or catching during movement.
  • Kneecap fracture: Causes are a direct blow or falling onto the knee. Pain, difficulty straightening the leg, bruising, and swelling can occur. Sometimes there’s visible deformity.

Conditions include:

  • Gout: High uric acid levels form sharp crystals inside the joint. Affects the knee, hip, fingers, and especially the big toe. Pain can be severe.
  • Plica syndrome: Irritation of the synovium . Pain is in the middle and front of the knee. Worsens with inactivity or squatting, running, or kneeling. The knee may pop when bent.
  • Osgood-Schlatter disease: Strikes after growth spurts in kids between 9 and 14. Pain is in the front of the knee. It improves with rest and worsens with activities like running and jumping.
  • Osteochondritis dissecans: In children, lack of blood supply weakens the bone and cartilage. The knee may separate from the underlying bone. Causes pain with activity.
  • Knee joint infection: Causes significant pain, swelling, warmth, painful movements, and fever. It may result from a bacterial infection in the bloodstream.
  • Bone tumor: Very rarely the source of knee pain. Symptoms include fever, unintentional weight loss, and pain that’s worse at night.

Complementary And Alternative Therapies

A number of mind-body therapies may be used to treat knee pain. These include:

  • Acupuncture
  • Tai chi

These are especially common for knee osteoarthritis.

The once-popular supplements glucosamine and chondroitin have fallen out of favor for knee osteoarthritis. That’s due to a lack of scientific proof. Always talk to your healthcare provider before taking any supplements or medications.

Common Causes Of Knee Pain

Your knee is a complex structure. It includes three bones:

  • The lower part of the thighbone
  • The upper part of the shinbone
  • The kneecap

Strong ligaments and tendons hold these bones together. Cartilage under the kneecap cushions and stabilizes the bones.

Any damage or disease in these structures can cause knee pain.

Common causes of knee pain include:

  • Arthritis

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Reducing The Need For Cracking

  • 1Consult with a doctor. If your knees feel like they need to be cracked often, and especially if you have associated pain, you should have them looked at by a doctor. Your doctor should be able to identify the problem and will give you options for treatment.
  • While some knee popping is perfectly normal, a constant need to pop your knee could signal a problem with your cartilage being worn down, a tear in your meniscus, or developing arthritis.XResearch source
  • In many cases, treatment options will include medication, physical therapy, and, if the problem is severe, surgery.
  • 2Take anti-inflammatory medication. In a lot of cases, cracking in the knee occurs when the knee bones are not sitting correctly because there is excessive inflammation between them. If you can reduce this inflammation, then cracking will feel less necessary.
  • You can take an over-the-counter anti-inflammatory, such as ibuprofen.
  • Talk to your doctor if you think a prescription anti-inflammatory would be more effective for your condition.
  • 3Do low-impact knee exercises. While it may be tempting to stop moving a knee that feels like it needs to be cracked all the time, it is important to keep it moving. Low-impact exercises that will be good for your knees include:XResearch source
  • Swimming.
  • Bursitis Could Be To Blame

    Why Does My Knee Snap, Crack, or Pop? Is it Harmful? What To Do?

    Often confused with arthritis, bursitis is another condition that can cause swollen knees. Bursitis is a reaction in which sacks of fluids, blood vessels, and nerve endings that cushion your jointscalled bursaebecome inflamed, explains Dr. Gladstone. Typically, bursitis occurs across the front of the knees as a result of excess pressure and friction on the joint over time.

    Those little blood vessels bleed and the bursa produces excess fluid, which creates this giant, swollen pouchlike a bubble of fluid just below the skin, Dr. Gladstone says. These inflamed pouches, which can take on all sorts of shapes and sizes, can be incredibly painful to put pressure on.

    Bursitis is most common in people who work a lot on their knees, like carpenters, plumbers, and tile-setters, says Dr. Gladstone. However, a good fall can cause bursitis, too.

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    Why Does The Knee Swell

    A swollen knee is a common problem that affects people of all ages. Knee swelling typically indicates a problem somewhere inside the knee joint.

    The knee has a joint capsule, which is like a sac that surrounds the whole joint. The capsule contains synovial fluid which nourishes and lubricates the joint so that it can move smoothly, think of it like the oil in your car. The joint capsule acts as container, keeping the fluid within the knee joint.

    A swollen knee usually develops when excess fluid builds up inside the joint capsule and is caused by either:

    • Bleeding in the Joint: aka Haemarthrosis. This is normally caused by an injury and the knee swelling comes on rapidly . The swelling can be intense making the knee feel very tight.
    • Accumulation of Synovial Fluid: aka knee joint effusion or water on the knee. This type of swollen knee tends to come on gradually and may come and go, varying in degrees of severity.

    Usually, knee swelling remains inside the knee joint as the joint capsule acts like a barrier, preventing the fluid from escaping. However, it can also occur outside the joint capsule, known as extra-articular swelling, such as with knee bursitis.

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    Reasons For Arthroscopic Knee Surgery

    Arthroscopic knee surgery may be a treatment option for certain types of knee pain. Arthroscopic surgery is a procedure that involves inserting a small camera inside the joint. Through other small incisions, instruments can be inserted to repair or remove damaged structures. Arthroscopic knee surgery is often called “scoping the knee” or knee arthroscopy.

    Many different surgical procedures that are commonly performed arthroscopically were once performed through the larger incisions. The advantage of arthroscopy he is being able to perform those surgical procedures without damaging normal structures around the joint. By being less invasive, the hope is there will be less pain and a faster recovery.

    However, arthroscopic surgery is still a major surgical procedure, involves risks, and requires appropriate postoperative rehabilitation. It is important that you understand the nature of any surgical procedure being considered, the risks involved, and the postoperative recovery that will be necessary to achieve a successful result.

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    Experts In Finding Joint Pains Cause And Its Solution

    Joint problems are very common, especially as you get older. The team at Aurora Health Care has advanced expertise in pinpointing the cause of crepitus and joint pain so that you can move freely again.

    As one of Wisconsins largest regional health care systems, we offer:

    • Expert diagnosis: With extensive experience in joint care, we provide a thorough diagnosis. Many times, we can find the cause of crepitus without invasive treatment.
    • Advanced testing and imaging: Youll have access to advanced diagnostic technology like magnetic resonance imaging , 3-D computed tomography scans and diffusion tensor imaging . DTI is an innovative tool that helps us analyze the condition of cartilage, the smooth, white material that cushions the ends of bones.
    • Noninvasive and surgical treatment options: Choose from a variety of proven treatments, including bracing, physical therapy and total joint replacement.
    • Convenient locations: With clinics and hospitals across eastern Wisconsin and northern Illinois, you can see a doctor and find physical therapy close to home. See our locations.
    • Seamless care: Our health system is fully integrated. That means physical therapists, rehabilitation specialists, orthopedists and primary care doctors work closely together on a care plan thats right for you.

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    How To Soothe Your Knee

    Why does your knee pop?

    As mentioned above, you can usually stop your knee from feeling like it needs to pop and reduce the chance of it feeling that way again by using home remedies, although a doctors visit and/or physical therapy may also be needed. When you have a knee that feels like it needs to pop, the best way to make it feel better isnt by popping it , but by reducing strain and pressure on the knee. Below are four of the best ways to get relief.

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    Recovering From A Dislocated Kneecap

    Your knee may hurt at first and you’ll probably need to take painkillers, such as paracetamol or ibuprofen. See a GP if this does not control the pain.

    During the first few days, you can help reduce any swelling by keeping your leg elevated when sitting and holding an ice pack to your knee for 10 to 15 minutes every few hours.

    A physiotherapist will teach you some exercises to do at home to strengthen the muscles that stabilise your kneecap and improve the movement of your knee.

    The splint should only be kept on for comfort and should be removed to do these exercises as soon as you’re able to move your leg.

    It usually takes about 6 weeks to fully recover from a dislocated kneecap, although sometimes it can take a bit longer to return to sports or other strenuous activities.

    Ask your GP, consultant or physiotherapist for advice about returning to your normal activities.

    What Can Help Strengthen Your Ankles

    Strengthening your ankles may help prevent ankle popping and ankle injuries.

    Some types of exercises can help you target your peroneal muscles on the outside of your ankle, which help stabilize your ankle joint.

    Here are some exercise ideas for targeting these muscles to improve the stability of your ankles.

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    When To See A Doctor

    If you have any pain along with these symptoms, have a doctor look at your knee as soon as possible. Doing so may prevent a more serious knee injury including anterior cruciate ligament injuries. They affect between 100,000 and 200,000 Americans each year.

    Even if the knee popping isn’t painful, you may still want to have it checked out. In some cases, it may be an early warning sign of an overuse injury. This may require weight loss, a change of footwear, or knee-strengthening exercises to protect the joint.

    The best treatments are targeted directly at the specific problem that is causing the abnormal popping or snapping inside the knee joint. You can ease crepitus and tendon problems with treatments to reduce inflammation in the knee joint, such as rest and anti-inflammatory medications.

    Most mechanical problems are best treated with arthroscopic knee surgery. This is a procedure in which a camera and tools are passed through small incisions into the joint to repair any damage.

    A Note From Cleveland Clinic

    Why Does Your Knee Snap and Pop?  Howard J. Luks, MD

    A dislocated patella can be scary and painful, but its not as serious as other dislocation injuries. It takes less force to dislocate the patella than other bones, which means there is less likely to be collateral damage to the blood vessels or nerves. It also relocates more easily, sometimes by itself.

    If you dislocate your kneecap, the first thing to worry about is putting it back in place. You or a trained professional may be able to fix it on site. If not, your healthcare provider can do it for you with medication to make it less painful. After that, rest and rehabilitation should have you back on your knee in about six weeks.

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    Exercise : Knee Stretch

    Our Midi Foam Roller and Stretching Straphave been designed to help you get the most out of this stretch. If you dont have either, yoga blocks or books and a towel will do the trick.

    • Lie on your stomach and place your affected knee on the midi foam roller.
    • Bend the affected leg back so you can put the stretching strap around your foot.
    • Press your groin into the floor and slowly pull the strap towards your buttocks. Youll feel a stretch along your thigh and at your knee.
    • Intensify the stretch until you reach between 8 and 9 on your personal pain scale.
    • Hold for 2 to 2.5 minutes.
    • Slowly release your leg from the stretch and repeat on the other side.

    If you find that your foot reaches your buttocks easily, continue pulling it back with your hands.

    Avoid this common mistake: Do not raise your hips while you pull your foot back keep pressing them into the floor. If you raise your hips, you wont stretch the intended area.

    Treatment For Knee Pain

    If youre suffering from persistent knee pain and instability, the physicians and physical therapists at New York Bone & Joint Specialists can get your knee healthy again. We are experts in diagnosing joint disorders and will plan a treatment regimen based on your individual needs. Contact us today for an appointment.

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    Acl Tears: The Season

    Orthopedic surgeon F. Winston Gwathmey Jr., MD, specializes in sports medicine. He shares that the anterior cruciate ligament tear is the most noticeable knee pop that you won’t be able to walk off. An ACL tear isnt as common as other knee injuries, but it can still happen.

    Most ACL tears are non-contact, meaning that nothing collides with the knee to cause the injury. Your knee needs to be in a certain position and receive the correct amount of force to tear the ACL. You may hear a pop and then youll feel it immediately. You’ll fall to the ground as your knee gives out. It’ll feel like someone tackled you. Since the ACL has a rich blood supply, the knee swells quickly and gets big.

    Using Your Body Weight

    Why does my knee pop or crack after knee surgery?
  • 1Position your body to do a lunge. Stand up with your feet hip-distance apart. Then step one foot back and bend your knees. You should step back far enough so that your front knee stays over the front ankle when you bend. The back knee should be in line with the hip when it is bent.XResearch source
  • Being in the proper position will ensure that you don’t injure your knee when you put pressure on it.
  • 2Do a slow, controlled lunge. Lower your body down far enough so that the back knee is close to the floor, but not touching it. As you go down, your front foot should stay flat on the floor and your back foot will bend so that the toes are only touching the floor.XResearch source
  • Putting pressure on the knee joint while trying to pop it will make the ligaments and bones move into slightly different positions than they would go into without added weight. This slight change may be enough to crack your knee.
  • 3Try full squats to pop both knees, if necessary. If knee bends are not your cup of tea, then you can bend both knees at the same time. Place your feet hip width apart and then slowly squat your body down. Be sure to move in a slow controlled manner, so that you can abandon the movement if it becomes painful.XResearch source
  • Squatting like this uses your body weight to contract the knee joint further than it would normally go. This position may be extreme enough to crack a knee that has been hard to crack.
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    Knee Injury: 6 Things To Do For The Pain

    Your plan will depend on your specific injury. Mild to moderate issues will often get better on their own. To speed the healing, you can:

  • Rest your knee. Take a few days off from intense activity.
  • Ice it to curb pain and swelling. Do it for 15 to 20 minutes every 3 to 4 hours. Keep doing it for 2 to 3 days or until the pain is gone.
  • Compress your knee. Use an elastic bandage, straps, or sleeves to wrap the joint. It will keep down swelling or add support.
  • Elevate your knee with a pillow under your heel when youre sitting or lying down to cut down on swelling.
  • Take anti-inflammatorymedications. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen or naproxen will help with pain and swelling. Follow the instructions on the label. These drugs can have side effects, so you should only use them now and then unless your doctor says otherwise.
  • Practice stretching and strengthening exercises if your doctor recommends them. You may want to do physical therapy, too.
  • Some people with knee pain need more help. For instance, if you have bursitis, your doctor may need to draw out extra fluid from the bursa in your knee. If you have arthritis, you may need an occasional corticosteroid shot to settle down inflammation. And if you have a torn ligament or certain knee injuries, you may need surgery.

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    Sprains And Torn Cartilage

    Ligament sprains of the knee are usually caused by a blow to the knee or a sudden twist of the knee, according to Johns Hopkins Medicine. Common symptoms include feeling a pop, pain, swelling, instability , or difficulty walking, says Gotlin.

    Torn cartilage, which can occur with injuries of the knee or with arthritis, is another common cause of knee pain, adds Gotlin. Trauma to the knee can tear the menisci, which are cushioning pads of connective tissue that also absorb shock located within the knee joint. Knee buckling, swelling, and pain during specific motions may indicate torn cartilage.

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