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Please read how the knee works and ‘your knee symptoms‘ before reading the following.
Most people fear that the clicking is caused by bone hitting bone. However, thankfully nowadays this is rare. If you have clicking in the knees, it is likely that for many years you have been suffering severe pain and weight bearing has been very restricted. If this is you, please go and see your GP for a referral to an Orthopaedic consultant as soon as possible.
However, the clicking, crunching or noisy knees most people experience is caused by the following things:If the noise is not painful it is most likely to be air pockets popping with the changes of pressure that movement causes inside the fluid of the knee joints. Clicking knees can also be caused by small particles swishing around in the fluid of the knee joints. If your knee cap is clicking when the knee is roughly in the same position then it is probably ‘mal-tracking’ of the knee cap or ‘patello-femoral joint dysfunction‘ – please click on the link to learm more. Other painful clicking can be caused by soft tissue damage in the joint or a torn meniscus – a kind of moon shaped cartilage in the knee- or cartilage that has been worn away or has broken off and is floating around in the joint. If the clicking is a clunking sound at the outside of the knee it might be your ITB sliding over the bone – please click on the link to learm more about ITB friction syndrome. If you heard a click or a pop when you fell it is likely that you have torn or ruptured a soft tissue like the Anterior Cruciate Ligament and you must get it seen to as soon as possible.
In summary – if the clicking knee is also painful you need to get it checked out but if it is not painful you need not worry about it. If in any doubt please get in touch!
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