What Are The Reasons For Cracking Sound In Knee?

What Are The Reasons For Cracking Sound In Knee?

What Are The Reasons For Cracking Sound In Knee?

Knee Popping


You might have heard a popping, cracking or clicking sound while getting up, sitting down, climbing a flight of stairs or walking. The medical terminology for these sounds is crepitus. It is pretty common, and anyone might experience it. But you might ponder about the reasons for knee popping. 

The build-up of pockets of gases like nitrogen or carbon dioxide or air might be the causes of knee cracking sound. The bubbles of these gases or air accumulate in the synovial fluid in the knee joint. When these bubbles burst, it makes a popping sound. The synovial fluid is a lubricant between ligaments, tendons and bones, making the knee movements smooth. Another reason for the cracking sound in your knee is the tissues in the knee rubbing together.

The sounds of popping and cracking in the knee while walking or climbing stairs are not really out of the ordinary. But if along with these sounds, you start having knee pains, then it might be an indication towards other orthopaedic issues like,

  • Fractures,
  • Torn tendons or tendonitis,
  • Arthritis,
  • Cartilage or Meniscus tear,
  • Ruptured ligament.

In case of pain, the causes of knee clicking might vary significantly. So you might want to have a proper consultation with a concerned doctor, as you could be diagnosed with a condition mentioned above. 

Symptoms Of Knee Popping

In typical cases, there are no other symptoms associated with the knee popping. As discussed earlier, the most common knee cracking sound reason is the burst of gas bubbles in the knee joint due to the frequent movement. However, here are a few musculoskeletal-related symptoms,

  • Musculoskeletal-related Symptoms:
  • Stiff and painful joints. 
  • Recurring or constant swelling.
  • Reduced scope of motion or movement in the knee joints.
  • Inflammation, warmth and redness over the joint.

There might be certain other symptoms along with popping sounds in the knee, including,

  • Dry mouth and eyes along with irritation,
  • Breathlessness,
  • Anaemia,
  • Fever,
  • Fatigue,
  • Tiny lumps around the knee joint under your skin.

If you face any of these symptoms stated above, you might want to consider consulting with a doctor.

Causes Of Knee Popping And Cracking


Along with musculoskeletal-related issues, there could be other reasons and causes of knee cracking sounds. A few of them are mentioned below:

  • Dislocated knee or fracture around the area.
  • Torn meniscus or cartilage.
  • Tendon tears or tendonitis.
  • Orthopaedic issues like arthritis: Osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis.
  • Ligament rupture or certain other tendon and ligament-related injury.
  • Runner’s knee or patellofemoral pain syndrome.

These are just a few causes of popping sounds in the knee. But you might not be able to deduce and rectify the root cause without proper consultation with a doctor.

Questions To Ask From The Doctor

For an accurate diagnosis, the doctor might ask you specific questions during the consultation. A few of them are as follows:

  • Are you experiencing pain along with the popping and cracking of the knee?
  • Did you recently suffer an injury to the knee?
  • How much activity do you perform every day?
  • How long have you experienced the popping sound in the knee?
  • A brief description of pain (if any). When was the first time you noticed it? Was the pain drastic or gradual?
  • Have you recently been diagnosed with osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis?

When asked these questions, answer them correctly, as it would be critical to diagnosing these popping and cracking sounds in your knee. 

Potential Complications Related To The Popping And Cracking Sounds In Knee

In most cases, the popping or cracking sounds in the knee are pretty safe. But, if the popping sounds are accompanied by pain in the joints, there might be another medical condition in the play. So a proper consultation would help diagnose the root cause of the problem. 

In case of an underlying medical condition, you should follow the treatment provided by the doctor carefully. Along with the treatment, there might be physiotherapies, medications, etc. 

If you are looking for a treatment for knee or other joint-related issues, then come over to Germanten Hospital. Our experts will provide you with the information related to the queries like “reasons for cracking sound in the knee”. So visit our website and book your appointment today.

Why Choose Us?


Dr. Mir Jawad Zar Khan has led our hospital to the forefront of the medical industry. He has experience of 20 years in orthopaedics. His alma mater is Osmania University, where Dr. Khan achieved a gold medal for his excellence in education. He then completed advanced training in the USA and Germany. 

Dr. Jawad was awarded the “Best Doctor” by Shri Roshaiah Garu, the Former Gov. of Tamil Nadu and former CM of Andhra Pradesh. He was also felicitated with the Vaida Ratna Award in 2019 by Shri Etala Rajendra, the honourable health minister of Telangana. In addition to that, Germanten Hospital also received an award of “Best Orthopaedic Hospital In South India” from the Economic Times Group in 2021.