Pops or other snapping sounds in the knee are actually quite common and not always an indicator of injury or arthritis. Doctors call these sounds crepitus and they can be heard in other joints of the body as well. Some people who experience these pops in their knees feel some pain at the same time, while others experience no pain whatsoever. Some may be able to point to a specific injury or trauma in their life as the source of these pops. Others do not. In some cases, knee popping may require treatment of some sort, but there are many situations where no treatment is necessary. To better understand knee pops or snaps, here is a list of the most common causes: Chondromalacia This is a condition where the cartilage underneath your kneecap begins to breakdown and regress. When this regression happens, the surface becomes rough and causes a clicking or popping noise when it rubs against the femur. Meniscus Tears There are two C-shaped menisci that sit between the end of the femur and the top of the tibia in the knee joint. They work to protect cartilage surfaces and support the knee. When one of these menisci are torn, it can cause snapping or popping in the knee as it flaps between the two bones. Cartilage Defects Certain diseases or injuries can cause holes to occur in the smooth layer of articular cartilage that covers the bones in our knees. When this happens, the surface is no longer smooth, leading to a grinding or popping noise in the knee. Osteoarthritis Under normal conditions, the cartilage on the end of our bones in our bodies is very smooth. Osteoarthritis thins these layers of cartilage out causing them to become rough and uneven. This can definitely lead to popping sounds in the knee. Some of these causes of knee pops and snaps may be accompanied with pain. It is always a good idea to reach out to a doctor if that is the case. If you have been experiencing a popping sensation in your knee for a long time and now notice that there is some pain involved, talk to the experts at Arrowhead Health Centers. It may be nothing at all to worry about. On the other hand, it may be a sign of a deeper problem that we can help with. We offer an extensive Osteoarthritis of the knee program and can help diagnose and treat your knee arthritis. To learn more, call us today at 623-334-4000, option 9.
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