Why Do Knees Crack When Walking?


If you are wondering why your knees crack when you walk, there are several causes that you should look into. These include trauma, osteoarthritis, and meniscus tear.


One of the most common complaints about the knee is creaking or crunching. It can be a symptom of several conditions and is often accompanied by pain.

Crepitus is a medical term for joint noise. The crunching sound occurs when the bones and cartilage rub together.

The crunching sound can be felt while walking, climbing stairs, or standing. Consider seeing a healthcare professional if the sound is persistent. A doctor can determine if an underlying condition causes the pain.

While most people experience an occasional knee pop or crackle, some are more serious. For example, a torn meniscus can cause swelling and stiffness for up to two days.

Arthritis is a type of bone disorder. Some arthritis causes inflammation of the joints. You can tell if you are experiencing arthritis by feeling pain. Also, you can have a popping or crunching sound when you bend your knees.

This is caused by tiny air bubbles trapped in the joint’s synovial fluid. When the joint is bent, the air bubbles burst and make a popping sound.

Other causes of creaking include abnormal wear or grinding of the bones and cartilage. Depending on the severity of the problem, you might require surgical repair.

Whether you have crepitus, you should still exercise to build up your leg strength. Your healthcare professional can recommend a physical therapy program to help you with your symptoms.

A knee crackle is also a crinkly, grating sound that can occur in the joint. Often, it is a sign of worn-out cartilage. However, it can happen anywhere.

In general, it isn’t a severe condition. You can get rid of it with anti-inflammatory medication and exercise. But you might have an underlying health condition if it doesn’t go away.


The cracking of knees can be a painful symptom of osteoarthritis. This is caused by rubbing and wear and tear of the cartilage that protects the joint from friction.

You can help to reduce this pain by using ice packs and painkillers. However, you must also exercise. Exercise will keep your knees flexible and improve your posture and prevent other health problems.

In the advanced stage of OA, the joints become unstable and may require surgery. If you experience much pain, it is best to consult your physician.

Symptoms of osteoarthritis in the knee include swelling, stiffness, and loss of mobility. You may also experience pain when bending or straightening your leg.

Symptoms of osteoarthritis can range from mild to severe. Pain may be worse at night. It can affect your sleep and can wake you up in the morning.

Some people with osteoarthritis experience a burning or aching sensation when walking. They also may develop bone spurs in the joint. Bone spurs can cause more pain and make it harder to move.

Some people find relief with braces or orthotics. Wearing a brace will lessen stress on the knees. Another option is physical therapy. A physiotherapist can recommend exercises to reduce pain and increase your strength.

People with osteoarthritis should avoid ice and heat directly on the joint. If you must use ice, wrap it with a towel or a thin cloth.

Osteoarthritis can affect any joint. Getting diagnosed early will help to prevent the progression of the condition.

The most common type of arthritis is osteoarthritis, caused by joint cartilage damage. Keeping active will also reduce your risk of osteoarthritis. Fortunately, there are many treatments available for osteoarthritis.

Meniscus tear

A meniscus tear is a common injury that can be pretty painful. It occurs when you suddenly twist or change direction while running, squatting, or playing sports.

Meniscus tears can occur in both young and old. However, older people tend to suffer from degenerative meniscus tears more frequently. This is because the cartilage in the knee tends to wear out over time.

A meniscus tear can be painful and interfere with your daily life. Depending on the severity of the injury, it may require surgery or nonsurgical treatment.

A meniscus is a piece of rubbery cartilage that sits between the shin and thigh bones in the knee. Its function is to cushion the joint and spread weight evenly.

A torn meniscus can cause pain and a popping or clunking sensation. Swelling and stiffness also usually follow a meniscus tear. Pain and swelling can persist for several days after the injury. If left untreated, the meniscus will weaken and eventually lead to osteoarthritis.

Meniscus tears can vary in size and location. More diminutive, minor tears might only cause minor pain and slight swelling. Larger, more severe tears can be very painful and can lead to the locking of the knee.

Surgical treatment options include arthroscopic surgery, arthroscopic steroid injection, and meniscus removal. Nonsurgical treatments include physical therapy, rest, and bracing.

The meniscus is an essential part of your knee. It’s a natural cushion that prevents friction when you walk and squat. Keeping your leg muscles strong and stretching regularly can help prevent a meniscus tear.

If you are experiencing a meniscus tear, talk to your doctor. Your doctor will perform a comprehensive exam to determine the type and location of your tear. They will also discuss treatment options.

Cartilage wear

The popping or creaking of knees while walking or squatting can indicate osteoarthritis. This condition involves the breakdown of cartilage that cushions the joint. Symptoms include pain, stiffness, and swelling. In advanced arthritis, bone spurs may form and limit the motion of the joint.

Usually, the pop or creak of a knee isn’t a cause for concern, but it can indicate a more serious issue. For example, a knee popping can be a sign of an infection or inflammation of the tendons or ligaments around the joint.

A tear in the meniscus can also cause crepitus. A torn meniscus is a cartilage piece between the tibia and the femur. When it breaks, the meniscus can become inflamed, causing a crunching sound when you move the knee.

You can also develop crepitus if you have a torn bursa or a leaky synovial fluid sac. Several factors can contribute to this condition, including aging, excessive weight, and a history of injury.

Symptoms of crepitus can be accompanied by pain. Typically, patients experience more of a crunching sensation than a popping one. If this is a persistent problem, the affected area should be treated.

Pain can indicate osteoarthritis if the pop or creak is accompanied by pain. Patients who suffer from this condition tend to have less range of motion and are more prone to fractures.

While there isn’t much you can do about the condition, you can take steps to reduce its effects on your knees. Rest and exercise in moderation are good ways to keep osteoarthritis at bay. As with any medical issue, talk with a doctor before beginning an exercise program.


One of the most common injuries is a torn meniscus. The meniscus is a small cartilage between the femur and tibia that acts as a shock absorber for the knee. A torn meniscus may cause mechanical symptoms, including pain, swelling, and catching or locking of the knee.

Fortunately, most torn meniscus injuries resolve without requiring surgery. Regular exercise helps strengthen the muscles around the knee, improving the chances of a smooth healing process.

Other causes of those above eponymous may include overuse, injury, malformation, and osteoarthritis. Depending on the type of injury, the aforementioned rite of passage may also involve other parts of the knee, such as the medial collateral ligament (MCL), the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL), or the patella.

The best way to determine whether the injury you have sustained is worth the price of a pair of ice skates is to perform a thorough physical examination and get a proper diagnosis. It is a good idea to consult with a physical therapist, who can help you determine the best course of action.

Several symptoms can be signs of a more severe condition: cracking or creaking knees, decreased range of motion, swelling, redness, and joint pain. Some forms of arthritis may cause these symptoms to worsen over time, so it is essential to consult with an orthopedic surgeon at the earliest sign of pain. Likewise, a sudden, sharp, and severe injury can be painful and cause a patient to experience many other symptoms, ranging from headaches to muscle spasms to blood clots.

Although the medical community is still debating the exact cause of the aforementioned rite of passage, it is clear that overuse, injury, and malformation are all potential culprits.