Knee Clicking – Why Does It Happen?

Why is my knee clicking?

The knee is an extremely important joint that allows us to bend and stretch our legs and it also handles most of our weight during day-to-day physical activities. That’s why it is crucial that you take care of it and become aware of the warning signs if there is a problem. If you hear a clicking sound coming from your knee, especially when you are climbing up stairs, squatting or bending your leg in order to sit down, there may be a problem with your knee and it’s usually a sign of some sort of knee joint instability and because part of the joint is out of place somehow. When one part is displaced, then other parts of the knee joint will try to compensate for it, which results in the clicking sound. Also, in some cases, knee clicking may sometimes be accompanied by severe pain.

Causes Of Knee Clicking


  • Arthritis of the knee – this a condition that causes your knee to be inflamed and also causes abnormal alignment hence causing a clicking sound.

  • Unwanted tissue around the knee – if the knee had a certain type of previous injury that was not treated appropriately or the injury did not heal properly, it can lead to the development of unnecessary tissue around the knee. The development of unwanted tissue around the knee leads to “tangling” of tissues in between some parts of the knee joint, which makes the knee produce a clicking sound when it is stretched.
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  • Damaged meniscus – the “shock absorber” (i.e.: cartilage between your bones) lubricator found between your knee bones is called the meniscus and if it gets damaged, a piece of the cartilage may get loose and float around the knee, causing a clicking noise. For more information about meniscus issues, refer to our previous post “Best Braces For a Meniscus Tear“.

  • MCL tear and ACL tear – both of these major ligament tears are characterized by severe pain, knee tenderness, stiffness, as well as a clicking sound.


Possible Treatments For Knee Clicking

The clicking of the knee occurs in different ways; it may be associated with severe pain while in other cases you may not feel any pain at all. If the clicking sound is accompanied with a severe pain, you should take the necessary actions such as visiting a medical center for check up before it is too late. The doctor will carry out a physical examination to determine the cause of the pain and the clicking sound. In some cases, you may have to undergo various types of diagnosis, such as an X-ray examination or MRI, in order to determine the extent of your condition. After carrying out a diagnosis, the doctor may recommend the following types of treatment depending on your situation:

  • Prescription of anti-inflammatory drugs
  • Surgery to help with conditions such as removal of unnecessary tissues
  • Physical therapy to restore displaced parts
  • Exercises to strengthen the muscles around the knee and ligaments

We hope that this gives you a good idea on why you are experiencing knee clicking and what you can do about it. If in doubt, always visit a doctor to get their opinion and do it sooner rather than later.
Disclaimer – I am not a doctor and I am not qualified to provide medical advice. This was posted for informational purposes only and should not be interpreted as medical advice. Read full disclaimer.



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2 thoughts on “Knee Clicking – Why Does It Happen?

  1. I ended up having to do physio in order to get rid of my knee clicking. Muscle imbalance apparently. Thanks for sharing this info.

    1. Hey MarieAnn – Glad to hear that you were able to get rid of your knee clicking. Must be a huge relief. Take care.

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