If your knees are snapping or popping, it can mean a variety of things. In some cases, snapping knees are not worrisome even though they are annoying. However, in other ways, they can be a sign that there is a problem. And if it is happening too often, then you very well may have a problem. Any problems behind constant knee popping and snapping require medical intervention. Therefore, you will need to see the doctor if it becomes problematic. Especially when there is pain involved. Let’s now take a look at the variety of causes of your knee popping or snapping.
If you feel that something is caught within your knee caps and it snaps each time it bends, then it is a mechanical issue. This form of snapping results from a piece of cartilage that is loose within the joint or it is known as a meniscus tear. Therefore, the loose piece of cartilage can get caught within the knee, and when the knee is moving front and to the back, it causes a sensation of snapping or popping.
These tears often heal on their own. However, if there is a lack of blood vessels in cases where it is deeper within the knee, it won’t heal properly. Therefore, the requirement will be the need for a procedure that is mildly invasive called arthroscopic debridement for trimming and repairing the tear.
Knees That Crunch From Crepitus
If your knees sound like they are crunching as you move them back and forth, then you have cartilage irritation or cartilage wear and tear. You could have either knee arthritis or chondromalacia. Crepitus is more of a constant issue as well than it is when it comes to mechanical popping or snapping. You also feel the sensation more than you can hear it but it feels and sounds like there is some crunching. You will need the same type of treatment in order to help fix the issue as you would with mechanical popping and snapping.
Snapping Of The Tendons
If your tendons around the knee are swollen, then that also causes your knees to snap. That is because the tendons catch on the knee as it is bending and the most common type of this issue is known as as iliotibial or IT band tendonitis. When the IT band is irritated, it swells up, and then it ends up catching at the thigh bone’s end while the knee is bending. You feel this snapping just below the skin level instead of feeling it within the joint as you would with mechanical popping. You can also feel the tendon as you put your hand on your knee as it moves.
Those reasons for your knees snapping are reasons that you do need to see a doctor. And if you are feeling a lot of pain in addition to hearing your knees pop and snap, then you definitely need to see your doctor. You don’t want to let it go for too long or else you could end up with a serious knee injury which is known as ACL or anterior cruciate ligament injuries. And even if there is an absence of pain, if it is happening too much, you still want to make sure that you have your knees checked. And it may not necessarily immediately involve any invasive procedures.
What Can You Do About Your Snapping Knees?
Your doctor will examine your knees and determine whether or not any type of procedure is necessary. However, if it is not, then you will want to take steps as far as what to do to minimize the chances of it worsening. Weight loss is the first thing that your doctor will suggest if you are overweight as the extra weight does put a strain on your knees. You will also want to change your footwear and wear shoes that fit properly and that are comfortable. Your doctor will also advise you to do knee-strengthening exercises as well.
However, if you have to have surgery because the situation is profound enough for you to require it, then you will require arthroscopic knee surgery. Since that is an invasive procedure, that will only be recommended if your doctor feels you need it. However, either way, do not ignore your snapping knees and see your doctor once it becomes problematic to you.