Is Crepitus / Crackling Sound in Your Knee – A Matter of Concern


What is this crackling sound in the knee?

Crackling Knees also called as Crepitus. It is an unusual sensation felt in the knee by placing hand over the knee cap while bending or straightening the knee.

Several people experience grating or popping sensation when bending the knee. At times these crackling sounds are frequently felt in the arthritic knee.

Bubbles in the knee joint - Crepitus or the crackling sound in knees can be caused due to various reasons. At times gas can build up in the area surrounding the knee joint, which in turn, forms bubbles in the synovial fluid. While bending the knees, these bubbles burst, and ligaments may snap or pop. These sounds are widespread and can happen to anyone at any time in their life.

Is the crackling sound due to Arthritis - Is this crackling and crunching sound starts hurting you or giving you painful and restricted movement? It is a matter of concern which needs to be investigated further by healthcare professionals. 

It can be due to Osteoarthritis (OA), Rheumatoid (RA) or infectious arthritis. The cartilage that cushions the knee joints sometimes breaks down slowly gets destroyed due to mechanical stress or biochemical changes. All these cause grinding of pain, leading to severe pain in OA.

Therefore, consult your doctor as soon as possible if your knee creaks crackle and hurts.

Sometimes, this crackling sound can be caused due to injuries in the knee joint. Meniscus tears and other injuries can bring about the knees to crackle. It is most commonly seen in people who play sports, jog or run.

Runner’s Knee - Another condition where the crack sounds in the knee are heard is known as Chondromalacia patella or Runner’s Knee, or Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome. These are caused due to overuse or injury to the knee. In case you are undergoing such a condition, you will feel and hear a painful crunching and grating sound when the knee moves.


Several times Crepitus or crackling sound in the knee is painless, so there is no need to worry about it. Do not worry as they are harmless. But if this sounds starts giving you pain and discomfort than these might be early predictors of symptomatic knee osteoarthritis and needs urgent attention.

In case these sounds have accompanied along with OA than doctors may prescribe you:

  1. a) Analgesics and anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).
  2. b) Ice pack or Heating pads application to reduce inflammation
  3. c) Braces – to support the knee
  4. d) Physical Therapy – Exercises to strengthen your knee muscles and to increase its range of motion.
  5. e) Certain alternative medicines and therapies too help to a certain extent to give you symptomatic relief.
  6. f) Weight Management is equally important to reduce stress on the knee joint.
  7. g) In very severe cases, joint replacement surgery may be necessary.

To conclude the topic, early detection can help to prevent arthritis from setting in or progressing further. And to keep your knee healthy, it is better exercise regularly, manage weight, and avoid injuries caused by overdoing of activities. Aim at maintaining a balance between work, rest, and exercise. Both mental development and physical exercise is necessary for success in life.

Check out the Sorgen Knee Caps

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