Why Does My Knee Crackle?

Knee Pain Treatment in Bergen County

Do you ever hear a faint crackling noise when you bend your knees? That noise you are hearing and the sensation you’re feeling is what Doctors call “crepitus.” This noise can happen in your knees, shoulder or other parts of your body.  While this may seem concerning for you, it is actually quite common to experience this. If you do not have any other symptoms, there is no treatment necessary. If you begin to develop other knee problems, you should contact an Knee Pain Treatment in Bergen County. 

Why Does My Knee Crackle?

Crepitus is caused by cartilage rubbing on the knee joint during movement. Knee crepitus usually happens when your knee is bent. You will usually hear the noise while going up stairs, squatting, or getting up from a chair. While experts are still learning more about crepitus, there are some clear causes and symptoms for this condition. Some of the causes of crepitus include:

  • Air bubbles – The sound you hear usually comes from tiny air bubbles in the synovial fluid. When you extend or bend your knees, the bubbles burst with the crackling sound. 
  • Ligaments – The tendons and ligaments in your knee joint stretch over the bone. When they snap into place, you can hear the crackling noise.
  • Patellofemoral pain syndrome – More pressure between your femur and knee cap can cause the cartilage in the joint to wear down. As your knee becomes less smooth, PFS or “runner’s knee” can occur. This is an overuse injury.
  • Damage to knee –  If you feel pain as your knee cracks, you might require treatment. Your knee could have tissue damage.
  • Cartilage tear – Crepitus can also be a symptom of a torn meniscus. The popping sensation is accompanied by swelling and stiffness.
  • Osteoarthritis – If the crackling noise is accompanied by pain, it can be a sign of osteoarthritis. With OA, the cartilage covering the bones and joints wear away. The bones rubbing against the rough surface can cause pain and crepitus.
  • Surgery – Your knee can start to become more noisy after surgery. If you have had a joint replacement surgery, the new joint’s features can cause crepitus. 

Many people experience the occasional knee crackle, so as long as you do not experience pain it is completely normal to experience crepitus. If you experience crepitus without other symptoms while exercising, you do not need to adjust your workout routine. If you begin to experience knee pain, your exercises can always be modified to lessen the impact on the joint. Some steps you can take to minimize the noise you hear while exercising include limiting your range of movement for exercises like squats, and adjusting the weight you lift while doing these exercises. You can also avoid inclines while running, and you can adjust the tension on your bike pedals while cycling. Protecting your knees can help reduce the risk of cartilage damage. If you have pain or other symptoms with crepitus, contact an Knee Pain Treatment in Bergen County for treatment. There are multiple treatment options to help lessen the discomfort you experience with this condition. Some treatments that can help you are: 

  • Maintaining a healthy weight.
  • Low impact exercises like walking or swimming. 
  • Anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). 
  • Physical therapy to strengthen muscles and improve your range of motion.
  • Heat and ice packs
  • Bracing or splinting

In more serious cases of crepitus, you may require surgical treatment. Arthroscopic surgery, debridement, or joint replacement surgery are all more invasive treatments that can be considered. Based on your specific symptoms, an Knee Pain Treatment in Bergen County can run some tests and perform exams to determine the root cause of your crepitus. At NYSMI, we will help determine the best course of action for your treatment and help you live without discomfort. 

Contact Our Knee Pain Treatment in Bergen County Today!

While most of the time crepitus is not a cause for concern, it is important to protect your knees from getting damaged. If you have any pain, swelling or redness in your knee, it is best to contact your doctor right away for help. At New York Sports Medicine Institute, we are determined to help you recover from your pain and injuries through our high-quality, personalized treatment plans. We treat a variety of conditions including knee replacements, meniscus injuries, arthritis, and sports related injuries. To learn more about how we can help your pain, or to schedule a consultation, contact our Knee Pain Treatment in Bergen County today!