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
Knee popping and clicking in a pediatric athlete: meniscal injury or sports tumor? Plakke MJ, Hennrikus WL and Frauenhoffer EE. J Surg Orthop Adv. 2012 Winter;21(4):275-8.
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