Popping In The Knee
By Robert Lim, PTA, PES
Popping In The Knee
Have you ever found yourself walking, running, squatting, or going up and down steps or stairs? Popping or snapping in the knee can be a sign of a few different problems. Usually, when popping or snapping in the knee is not associated with pain, and usually, the symptoms are often not a sign of a problem.
As we get older, the tissue that lines the surfaces of the knee called cartilage can develop uneven areas throughout time. When you perform a squat or stand, popping sounds come from the uneven surfaces gliding across each other. This sound is Crepitus. Crepitus is a medical term that describes all the audible snaps, crackles, and pops your joints might make when you move a certain way.
If you have cracking or popping in the knee that does cause pain or swelling, it is recommended that you schedule an appointment with either your primary care physician or orthopaedic doctor if you have one. The following mentioned below could be two common diagnoses that you may have.
Meniscus tears. The meniscus is a rubbery C-shape disc that cushions your knee. It acts as a shock-absorber when you stand, walk, jump or run. The meniscus helps spread weight evenly, so your bones don’t rub together. Tears to the meniscus are often caused by sudden twisting or other things you might performing recreational-type activities.
Cartilage injury or wear and tear. When the cartilage covering of our bones gets injured, this can cause a piece to break off and get caught in the knee joint. Cartilage in your knee can also wear thin or break down, commonly known as arthritis.
Treatments and Physical Therapy for popping in the knee
Sometimes popping in the knee is due to age-related wear and tear from osteoarthritis. Over-the-counter pain relievers like nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs might help other symptoms of this condition. If popping in your knee is happening due to some kind of inflammation, like tendinitis, your doctor might recommend anti-inflammatory medications. The R.I.C.E. method is also beneficial, which stands for rest, ice (the area for 20-minute periods multiple times a day), compression g the area, and elevating it. In more severe cases, your doctor may suggest corticosteroid injections to help reduce inflammation to the area.
You are probably wondering will I need physical therapy for popping in the knee; the possibility could be yes. During physical therapy, your course of treatment may consist of manual therapy to help improve tightness in the joint and tissue/muscles surrounding the knee. ROM exercises may be prescribed if you are lacking ROM. Strength exercises may be performed to help stabilize and strengthen the knee during activities such as running, walking, or squatting. The use of ice or heat pack may be used during your course of treatment.
JOI has a dedicated team of physicians that are dedicated to your orthopedic treatment. If you are experiencing any of the symptoms above and would like to see a physician regarding this, JOI offers six different MD locations, and they are located throughout the northeast Florida area.
- JOI MD Locations
Baptist South, Baptist Beaches, Baptist Clay, Nassau, Riverside, and San Marco
JOI also offers physical therapy in numerous areas in northeast Florida. If your referring MD feels physical therapy would assist you in relieving these symptoms
- JOI Physical Therapy Locations
Arlington, Riverside, San Marco, Fleming, South, Mandarin, North, Nocatee, Nassau, Point Meadows, and Beaches