So, one of my knees makes a "crackling" sound when I bend it

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Posted 7/6/2007 by MNBonnie in NSBR Board

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PeaNut 64,193
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Posted: 7/6/2007 10:58:19 PM
Yeah! I turn 35 and I'm literally falling apart. I noticed a really sharp pain in my left knee about six months ago whenever I was sitting on the floor and pushed up off of it. So if we were playing on the floor, I'd try to sit the kids near the entertainment center so I'd have something to hold onto, to put my weight on, instead of my knee. It's been a little sore, but never really noticed a sound.

So this morning, I was bending down to pick a toy up from under the table and heard this sound like wrapping paper being crumpled up. I almost said "WTH was that?" So when I stood back up, I heard it again and realized it was my knee. UGH!

It doesn't do it every time I bend it, but pretty frequently. I think the sound is freaking me out more than the soreness. So I have an appt, on the 24th with a Dr. Getting old sucks!

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Posted: 7/6/2007 10:59:38 PM
I have this in one knee as well but with no pain.

My chiro said it has to do with the ligamens loosening up and to work on my leg muscles.

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Posted: 7/6/2007 11:00:18 PM
yes. getting old sucks (said as I crackle both knees ). that's 'interesting' it sounded like crumpling paper! mine is just a popping sound. good luck with that!


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PeaNut 23,909
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Posted: 7/6/2007 11:01:37 PM
My left knee clicks/pops, too. Sometimes it's painful, but usually it's not. DH has the same problem with his knee and his orthopaedic surgeon told him it's loose cartilidge.

Getting old does suck, though, doesn't it!?!!



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Posted: 7/6/2007 11:14:22 PM
I had the same thing (without pain), but I've lost lots of weight, & go to the gym regularly, & it's gone now.

Fiona K

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Posted: 7/6/2007 11:19:54 PM
Cool. I'm glad to hear your stories that exercise helps it. I get some exercise now (walking to the park up the street, biking with the kids, etc.) but nothing really big. My mom has really bad knees and has had surgeries, so I know in the future I will be in trouble. But I was hoping it wasn't something really serious this soon. Thanks!


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Posted: 7/6/2007 11:22:19 PM
I have this in one knee too but it sounds more like a popping sound. I'm in my later 30s. I also don't have any pain. Let us know what the doctor says.


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Posted: 7/6/2007 11:28:04 PM
May I say...Welcome to the club!

I've had this since I was 14. I sound like an old sketeton coming up the stairs. It's almost funny, if it weren't painful sometimes.

Last Christmas eve, DH had taken the kids out so I could get things ready. I was cleaning the floor in my foyer on my hands and knees. When it was time to stand up...I couldn't. My right knee was stuck in that position and stayed that way for a couple of hours. I managed to drag myself into the living room and pull myself into a chair; which is where DH found me two hours later. The same thing has happened a couple more times since then. It hurts like crazy!

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PeaNut 132,755
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Posted: 7/6/2007 11:30:30 PM
Yep, just yesterday mine made a huge pop as Iwalked down the stair, it was so loud that even DH asked "Was that your knee...Ewww"

Wait till yo hit 40, then the pounds start to add up, wrinkle appear overnight, all of a sudden you can't read the newpaper without your glasses. It sucks getting old.


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Posted: 7/7/2007 12:17:37 AM
My knees have cracked since I was 8 years old . I'll be amazed if I still have joints when I'm 60.

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Posted: 7/7/2007 1:23:38 AM
I call mine the "Ugly Step-Sister Knee" It sort of sounds like the sisters knee in the Rodgers & Hammerstein movie musical. Unfortunately because I have a bit of pain I may have to have surgery on it according to the DR but I kept putting it off since it really only is bad when I'm on stairs.

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Posted: 7/7/2007 6:05:38 AM
I also experienced that, and around at the same age (I'm now 42). I decided to do nothing, and lo and behold it did go away on its own. For awhile I wondered about seeing someone, but the feeling was only there now and then. It's probably best to see someone, but just for the heck of it, ask them if it is possible if it will clear up over time.

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Posted: 7/7/2007 7:27:33 AM
My right knee does that and has since I was kicked by a horse when I was 19. I've been to physical therapy and all that fun junk but nothing seems to really work to stop it from crackling or hurting. I've just learned my limitations, wear a knee brace of some sort to support the cap when needed (working my horse, walking long distances, etc), and take lots of ibuprofen at the slightest hint of it hurting. ((HUGS!!)) and I hope it's nothing serious.

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Posted: 7/7/2007 9:07:18 AM
What? You never wished for a body like Barbie? I did and unfortunately I wasn't specific enough--all I got were her knees that go "click" LOL!

California Dreaming

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Posted: 7/7/2007 9:17:11 AM
One of my knees makes that crunchy crackly sound when I go up the stairs. I hate that sound. You could try a glucosamine/chondroiton product and see if that helps.

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Posted: 7/7/2007 9:21:06 AM
I am 25 and last summer I was told I needed to have major open knee surgery, but my surgeon will not do this for another good 20 years. I apparently have "significant severe wear-and-tear of the kneecap". Talk about being handed a life sentence.

My mother's side of women have always had bad knees, I just started way too early. I can only guess it is from the constant sports and activity I did when I was younger. Hang in there. If yours is anything like mine, you may not be able to straighten your leg one day or apply much weight, but the next 6 months you may just snap crackle and pop with no pain. I feel for you!

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Posted: 7/7/2007 9:57:21 AM
You most likely have chondromalacia. Which is basically wear and tear on your cartilage. Which cause things to rub, loosen up, and float around in your joint space. Hence the noise, and sometimes the bits floating around get stuck.
Sometimes a PT prog will help. Doing quad ex's. Rest, first, to decrease the inflammtion, and then start of a good ex prog. Often an arthroscopy surgery will be needed to clean out the joint. These surgeries are pretty easy, In/out same day, and an ex. prog.
Use of ice on your knee is helpful and ibro in the meantime. I would definetly see an ortho dr also. vs a family dr.

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Posted: 7/7/2007 11:07:19 AM

What? You never wished for a body like Barbie? I did and unfortunately I wasn't specific enough--all I got were her knees that go "click" LOL!


Actually, I called the local clinic's ortho/sports med dept. to see if I needed a referral from a general pract. They said no and got me an appointment in a couple weeks. I was going to just deal with it for awhile since it's not excruciating pain, but DH reminded me that since we've met our deductible this year for me - with having the baby, to go in before the end of the year. So I'm wanting to get it checked out instead of waiting and hoping it doesn't get worse and then paying 100% for the appointment or treatment next year.

I'll let you know what he says.

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Posted: 7/7/2007 11:18:51 AM
both of my knees make that "wrapping paper" crinkle sound too. Mostly when I am going up or down our staircase. I hate it!!

Please let me know what the ortho says. I have just been dealing with it.... maybe I should have it looked at too!!

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Posted: 7/7/2007 11:19:34 AM
I have bad knees due to arthritis. I'm one of those people you don't want to walk behind going up stairs if it's quiet.

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Posted: 7/7/2007 11:32:52 AM
I was a runner all the way up through my first year of college.

Basically, long story short, I ran my knee into the ground, figuratively speaking. It was so bad I couldn't get up the stairs to my apartment without excruciating pain.

I went to a physical therapist and basically my knee no longer runs on the right track and I'm supposed to do all these specific knee exercises to strength very specific muscles on the sides of my knees...which never actually seemed to help.

The only thing that did help was to stop running. So now I can walk up and down stairs and it doesn't hurt most of the time...unless I try to ride a bike. The "up and over" part of pedaling just makes my knee feel like it's being stabbed.

My knees started cracking (actual popping, not paper crumbling sound) right around that same time (so I really pretty much ruined my knees with all the running I did), but a lot of the time when my bad knee pops it actually feels better than if it didn't, if that makes sense.

I also screwed up my right elbow spiking during volleyball. It feels fine all the time unless I try to do curls on a weight set and then it's sort of weird--it doesn't really hurt per se--it just feels very weak like it can't support the weight I'm trying to lift, even though my muscles can. So I have to lift much lighter weight than I actually can lift when I do that specific exercise (curls).

I just think it's clear my joints didn't come with a lifetime warranty...darn it.


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