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Doctor’s Corner: Crepitus Of The Knee Joint

Its commonly felt as a cracking or popping sensation by most patients. It can affect different parts of the body though , but it is common in the knee.

It usually happens when air bubbles develop in body tissues, but it can also happen when the tendons or ligaments snap over the bony structures in the knee, or as a result of patellofemoral pain syndrome (PFS), torn cartilage, or osteoarthritis (OA).

Other people may or may not be able to hear the sound. So two patients of with the same problem may experience this differently. This may not make it a major sign that can lead to diagnosis.

The person may hear it when they extend their knee. They may be able to feel a crunching or cracking if they place their hand over the knee and bend or straighten it.

Words that patients often use to describe the sound or feeling are “popping, snapping, catching, clicking, crunching, cracking, crackling, creaking, grinding, grating, and clunking.”

Knee crepitus can happen at any age, but it is more common as people get older. It can affect one or both knees.

NOTE.
Crepitus is often harmless, but if it happens after a trauma or if there is pain and swelling, it may need medical attention.

How To Go About It In case A Patient Becomes Suspicious.

Its important to establish the definite cause of the problem from the suggested causes listed in the earlier paragraphs so that it’s dealt with amicably.

Generalised take home thoughts to note and think of when dealing with it.

  1. Weight managment

2. Antiflamatory pain medication incase of uncomfortable pain scales.

3. Ice therapy.

4. Exercise therapy Incase of a sof tissue knee injury to ensure that Athletes get full recovery to avoid instability.

5. Muscle Strengthening programs for knee stability.

6. Shoes and sports gear especially where alot mileage and loading is done.

7. Coaches and Athletes need to watch out for loading of Exercises when running or in the gym. While in the gym, the Athlete needs to mind about workouts that put alot of stress on the knees especially deep squats.

8. Muscle flexibility is also a good idea especially if dealing with cases such as pateller femoral pain syndrome which might lead to the crepitus.

9. Athletes with severe meniscal injuries like grade three might require surgery in order to deal with the crepitus that presents as a complication.

10. Osteo arthritic cases may end up requiring total knee replacements in cases that are really bad and uncomfortable.


The Author is Isaac Gabriel Otuk, the CEO of Fitness Health Nutrition Sports (FHNS) company.

THE FHNS brand provides sports medicine like injury management and REHABILITATION services, injury Prevention programs and performance enhancing services to Athletes from all sports disciplines in Uganda, East Africa and around the world through its Physical and online medical Platforms.

Mail – [email protected]
Phone – +256778092815


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