Sometimes a knee can make a clicking noise, and this may be painless or accompanied by discomfort or true pain.


What causes knee clicking?

There are several reasons why a knee may click -

  • there may be a disturbance of the structures inside the knee, like a damaged meniscus, and the smooth motion of the knee is obstructed and then continues on, making a clicking noise or feeling as the obstruction is overcome
  • uncommon variants, like a discoid meniscus, may reveal themselves with clicking and discomfort
  • normal structures, like the pes tendons, or a plica, may click or snap when bowstringing over a bony eminence
  • the joint cartilage of the knee may be softened in an area, again making a noise as the knee bones exert pressure over this area

Dr Sheila Strover (Editor)
BSc (Hons), MB BCh, MBA

See biography...