Could noisy knees that go snap, crackle, and pop when you straighten or bend them point to arthritis(an inflammatory condition that causes joint pain, stiffness, and immobility) in your future?
Noisy knees, or the cracking of knee joints, is a condition known as crepitus.
A new study published in Arthritis Care & Research, and supported by the National Institutes of Health, examined data from nearly 3,500 participants who reported crepitus over a four-year period.Participants were selected on specific risk factors associated with arthritis including a family history of the disease, being over the age of 45 years old, or having a high BMI (body mass index).
About 18 percent of those who reported crepitus at the start of the study went on to receive a formal diagnosis of arthritis at some point during those four years or shortly after. For some people, the cracking does result in a weakening of cartilage between bones and irritation or inflammation at the site of joints, especially when coupled with already existing risk factors.
For many of the participants though, their knees remained in stable condition even with the crepitus. Their noisy knees were simply noisy knees.
However, experts suggest that if you experience frequent popping or cracking sounds of the knee joint, even if there is no pain, you should get it checked out by an orthopedist just to rule out arthritis or any other underlying issue. If a diagnosis is discovered early, there are many treatments to keep the disease at bay and your joints functioning as close to normal as possible.
Exercise, weight loss, and an inflammatory diet also contribute greatly to reducing painful arthritic symptoms.
If you have trouble with your knees, or hear a frequent popping or cracking sound, please contact us for an appointment.