Knee cracking sound in young adults -Is It Normal Doctor? It is a poor indicator of advanced ageing of the knee joint in young adults by Dr Sanjiv Rampal MBBS MS Ortho Kuala Lumpur

Dr Sanjiv my knee makes a cracking sound once in a while especially if stretching after a long drive or some exercise? I was worried that I have some inflammation and needed a gel injection or take some supplements? Dr Sanjiv, can I take calcium for crackling knee pain?

Cracking sound in the knee which is not associated with pain are usually poor indicators that something is wrong in the joint. Joint cracking or knee crepitus in young adults is often caused by the escape of air. The joint lubricates itself with knee joint fluid which contains different types of gases eg carbon dioxide, nitrogen and oxygen. Sometimes when the joint is stretched and moves, gas is released and resulting in a cracking or popping sound. The sound usually occurs when fully extending the knee or bending the knee and feels like an eggshell cracking under the skin when felt by fingers above.
This phenomenon is usually the normal physiological activity of the affected joint and would not need further examination unless it is associated with knee joint pain.

However, if there is the presence of mild knee joint pain with cracking sound is not normal and would need further investigation by a medical practitioner. Niggling pain or deep-seated pain with cracking sound is an indicator of early osteoarthritis or inflammation/accelerated ageing of the knee joint.

What Should I do Doctor if there is no pain or discomfort with the rare occurrence of this cracking?

Improved stretching and a gradual increase in strenuous activity and exercise with proper footwear. Supplements and knee injections are not solutions to this normal occurrence. There is a lack of good evidence that these modalities have any actual benefit to this occurrence.

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Another fun fact post by Dr Sanjiv Rampal Orthopaedic Consultant ,Petaling Jaya Kuala Lumpur in a new tab)

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