Limp in Leap out Physiotherapy & Wellness in Belfield provides servicing to many near by Inner West suburbs including Belmore, Strathfield and Croydon park. See our weekly blog below if you are interested in new research, facts, general information or ideas.

Knee cracking - IS IT BAD??

Knee cracking or knee crepitation can be commonly found in the population of any age group. When our knee cracks, does it mean something is not right? Or does it have something to do with arthritis? Let’s address all these commonly asked questions once and for all!


Why does my knee crack but feel no pain?

There are several theories of why the knee makes cracking noises. The mostly accepted theory is that the gap between the femur and tibia creates a vacuum and leads to a collapse of gas bubbles within the synovial fluid which produces a pop sound. Another theory is that there may be tendon snapping over bony prominences which may produce a hollow snapping or pop sound.


"My knee cracks" - is this bad?

When you experience crepitation with no pain, it doesn't necessarily mean that you have done damage to it.

Up until today, evidence suggests that there is no definitive link between the crepitation noise and pathology. The article of De Oliverira et al, 2018 studied 323 patients in which 165 women with patellofemoral pain and 158 pain-free subjects. They tried to investigate the correlation between crepitus, pain and function. They found that there was no significant relationship between crepitus, pain and function outcome.


Take home message:

  • Knee crepitus can cause a lot of worry in the population and might eventually lead to fear of avoidance behaviour as negative health beliefs are associated with the crepitation. Evidence has shown that with the right education, professionals may be able to assist patients to prevent resulting in fear of avoidance.

  • If your knee cracking does not cause pain, it is generally not a concern. It is usually associated with gas bubbles collapsing. However, if your knee regularly produces pain with crepitation noise, you should seek medical advice from a professional as there may be a possibility that there is an underlying pathology.

This information can be used to gain a better understanding of knee cracking. To find out more about how we can help your understanding, or to book in for a consultation you can contact us via our Limp in Leap out Physiotherapy & Wellness contact us page, or book online here.



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Written by Willis


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