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Physio or Doctor?

Sep 02nd, 2020

Hi,

I have a knee reconstruction to repair a torn ACL about 4 years ago and in the last couple of years my knee continues to crack as I walk. Is this something I should go to the doctors for or should I see a physio

Thanks

James

Sep 02nd, 2020

The Guru Responded:

Hi James

It all depends on what you mean by “cracks”

Is that like when you crack your knuckles, but obviously more because the joint is larger or is it like a deep seated “clunk” that feels like something is slipping or jumping over something else?

You also mention that it continues to do so despite the repair being 4 years ago – has this been present from the start or did it develop because of something ie a trip or a knock? Is it getting worse?

More importantly is this associated with any pain? You can have a painful knee that clicks but the pain isn’t associated with the click or a pain free knee that clicks that isn’t painful or a click which produces its own pain in either a painful or painless knee.

Which one do you have? And do you have any other symptoms such as swelling, locking or giving way?

The Guru

Sep 01st, 2020

Hi Guru,

Its similar to if you were to crack your knuckles. There is no pain and its not a deep chunk. Its just when I walk every step I take it cracks.

It started about 2 years ago, I didnt have any knock it was bought on in the cold and it gets worse in the winter. When I first had my physio post acl reconstruction there was no cracking.

Thanks

James

Sep 01st, 2020

The Guru Responded:

Thanks James

As long as it isn’t associated with pain, and you have none of the classic locking, giving way or swollen signs then it’s just one of those things.

One thing it absolutely isn’t is wear and tear or joint degeneration – despite what it feels and your brain is telling you.

There’s been some new research on this as it’s fairly common and patients are naturally concerned.

I’ve had patients where I’ve increased or modified their rehab and the clicking has got better and I’ve had patients that got worse!!

“They” think it’s either little bubble of nitrogen that pop in your synovial fluid that surrounds the joint or it’s like a acoustic rub – either way it’s all good, and keep doing what you’re doing.

The Guru

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