Thousands of people have experienced something called Crepitus, or knee popping, when it sounds much like your knee popping out of its socket. While it is not normal for any joint I the human body to make noises, a popping knee is actually a fairly common problem and can be caused by a variety of factors.
There are basically three different types of popping that can occur in the knees; pain free popping, painful popping due to injury, and painful popping not caused by injury.
• Pain Free Popping = with this form of Crepitus, the knee keeps popping but there is no pain associated with it. This popping is usually caused by cavitation. Cavitation is the technical term for when gas bubbles gradually form in joints and pop. The individual with this form of knee popping has little to worry since this does not develop into a more serious health concern.
• Painful Popping Due to Injury = just as it is stated, there is knee pain and popping as a result of an injury. Both the pain and the popping could be a result of an ACL injury or MCL injury. The ACL, which is at the center of the knee, can be over stretched and will tear. On the other hand, the MCL is on the interior side of the knee and can also be over-stretched and tear. Depending on the severity of the ACL may need surgery to be repaired. The MCL on the other hand can usually be repaired by bracing and an exercise program the medical professional provides.
• Painful Popping Not Due to Injury = sometimes there is painful popping of the knee that is not caused by or the result of an injury. Runners Knee, arthritis, chondromalacia patella, or a meniscus tear can all result in the popping sound in this category. All of these conditions develop over time by slow deterioration of ligaments and cartilage.
Even if there is not much pain or swelling with popping knees, that does not mean it should not be checked out. There are different categories of tears that can occur with the ACL and MCL. These tears weaken the knee and keep them from performing as they should. Just because there is no discomfort swelling, doesn’t mean there is not any damage.