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Learn about your creaking knee, including causes and common questions. Or get a personalized analysis of your creaking knee from our A.I. health assistant. At Buoy, we build tools that help you know what’s wrong right now and how to get the right care.

Creaking Knee Checker

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Your Creaking Knee May Also be Known as:
Knee creaking
Knee making a sound

Top 10 Creaking Knee Causes

  1. 1.Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome

    The kneecap (patella) is located directly in front of the thigh bone (femur), and should normally glide freely up and down. In this condition, called patellofemoral pain syndrome, the kneecap may rub against the thigh bone instead of gliding smoothly, causing damage and pain.

    You should visit your primary care physician. While you can safely take steps to treat this condition at home (avoiding strenuous use of the knee and taking over-the-counter pain medication), your doctor may coordinate care with a physical therapist to help manage your pain and function of the knee.

    Rarity:
    Common
    Top Symptoms:
    knee pain, pain in one knee, knee pain that gets worse when going up stairs, dull, achy knee pain, knee pain that gets worse when squatting
    Symptoms that always occur with patellofemoral pain syndrome:
    knee pain
    Urgency:
    Primary care doctor
  2. 2.Meniscal Injury

    A torn meniscus is one of the most common knee injuries. Any activity that causes forceful twisting of the knee, especially when putting the pressure of one's full weight on it, can lead to a torn meniscus.

    Conservative treatment such as rest, ice and medication is sometimes enough to relieve the pain of a torn meniscus and give the injury time to heal on its own. In other cases, however, a torn meniscus requires surgical repair, which can be best determined by your doctor or physiotherapist.

    Rarity:
    Common
    Top Symptoms:
    pain in one knee, knee stiffness, pain in the inside of the knee, knee instability, knee pain from an injury
    Urgency:
    Primary care doctor
  3. 3.Osteochondritis Dissecans

    At joints where bones meet, bones are covered with a layer of cartilage which provides shock absorbance and lubrication. Osteochondritis dissecans is a condition where a piece of cartilage with a thin layer of bone detach from the larger bone, causing pain.

    You should visit your primary care physician. Conservative therapy is first considered, such as resting the joint, and physical therapy. Surgery is performed if the conservative treatment fails.

    Rarity:
    Rare
    Top Symptoms:
    pain in one knee, knee pain that gets worse during a run, knee stiffness, knee instability, spontaneous knee pain
    Urgency:
    Primary care doctor
  4. 4.Infrapatellar Bursitis

    Bursae are small fluid-filled sacks located around the body in strategic locations to provide a cushion and help reduce friction. There is a pair of bursae below each kneecap (patella). Infrapatellar bursitis is a condition where these bursae are inflamed. It is a common cause of knee pain in people whose work involves frequent kneeling on hard surfaces.

    You can safely treat this condition on your own. Rest and elevation (raising the knee up when sitting or laying down) are effective home remedies. You might also consider avoiding kneeling postures, as well as take over-the-counter medications such as ibuprofen (Advil) or acetominophen (Tylenol) to help with any pain symptoms.

    Rarity:
    Uncommon
    Top Symptoms:
    pain in one knee, spontaneous knee pain, knee pain that gets worse when going up stairs, dull, achy knee pain, knee pain that gets worse when squatting
    Urgency:
    Self-treatment
  5. 5.Iliotibial (It) Band Syndrome

    Iliotibial band (ITB) syndrome is the lateral knee pain that results from overuse that occurs after repetitive motion. It is the most common cause of lateral knee pain in runners and cyclists.

    You should go see your doctor in the coming days/weeks regarding your knee pain. He/she will assess the severity of your iliotibial band syndrome and determine the proper course of treatment (ranging from physical therapy and anti-infammatory medicine to corticosteroid injection or possibly surgery).

    Rarity:
    Common
    Top Symptoms:
    knee pain, pain in one knee, dull, achy knee pain, knee pain that gets worse when going down stairs, sharp knee pain
    Symptoms that always occur with iliotibial (it) band syndrome:
    knee pain
    Urgency:
    Primary care doctor

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  6. 6.Jumper's Knee (Patellar Tendonitis)

    Patellar tendonitis (Jumper's knee) is the inflammation of the patellar tendon, which attaches the knee cap to the shin bone (tibia). This condition is caused by frequently from sports and jumping.

    You should visit your primary care doctor, who will perform a physical exam to assess for other causes of knee pain. Lab studies and imaging are typically not necessary. Treatment involves reducing activity to allow for healing, stretching, and strengthening the muscles supporting the knee.

    Rarity:
    Rare
    Top Symptoms:
    pain in one knee, spontaneous knee pain, knee pain that gets worse when going up stairs, knee pain that gets worse when squatting, knee stiffness
    Urgency:
    Primary care doctor
  7. 7.Septic Arthritis

    Septic arthritis is an intensely painful joint infection.

    You should go to the ER immediately. Treatment entails draining the infected area and providing antibiotics to fight the infection.

    Rarity:
    Rare
    Top Symptoms:
    fever, chills, joint pain, knee pain, pain in one knee
    Urgency:
    Hospital emergency room
  8. 8.Hypothyroidism

    Hypothyroidism occurs when the thyroid, a butterfly-shaped organ inside the neck, no longer produces adequate levels of hormones. Thyroid hormones are essential for many bodily functions including breathing, heart rate, and metabolism.

    You should visit your primary care physician. Hypothyroidism is a complex condition that is usually treated with hormone replacement therapy.

    Rarity:
    Rare
    Top Symptoms:
    fatigue, depressed mood, difficulty concentrating, weight gain, muscle aches
    Urgency:
    Primary care doctor
  9. 9.Hip Dislocation

    A slipped capital femoral epiphysis is a separation of the ball of the hip joint from the thigh bone (femur) at the upper growing end (growth plate) of the bone.

    You should seek immediate medical care at an urgent care clinic or ER. A doctor will confirm the diagnosis with X-Ray or CT imaging, and if confirmed, you will be admitted to the hospital to have complete bed rest. Surgery is usually advised to stabilize the slipped bone and prevent it from moving further.

    Rarity:
    Rare
    Top Symptoms:
    hip pain, moderate hip pain, limping, dull, achy hip pain, thigh pain
    Symptoms that always occur with hip dislocation:
    hip pain
    Urgency:
    Hospital emergency room
  10. 10.Fibromyalgia

    Fibromyalgia is a disorder that causes widespread pain, tenderness, and fatigue.

    Fibromyalgia is treated symptomatically. Medication, therapy, and stress reduction may reduce symptoms.

    Rarity:
    Common
    Top Symptoms:
    fatigue, anxiety, trouble sleeping, depressed mood, headache
    Symptoms that always occur with fibromyalgia:
    hidden: arthralgias or myalgias
    Urgency:
    Primary care doctor

Questions Your Doctor May Ask About Creaking Knee

  • Q.Is your knee pain getting better or worse?
  • Q.Is the knee pain affecting one or both knees?
  • Q.Is your knee pain:
  • Q.How long has your knee pain been going on?

If you've answered yes to one or more of these questions, check our creaking knee symptom checker.

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Creaking Knee Symptom Checker Statistics

  • People who have experienced creaking knee have also experienced:

    • 16% Knee Pain
    • 5% Knee Stiffness
    • 3% Lower Leg Pain
  • People who have experienced creaking knee were most often matched with:

    • 42% Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome
    • 15% Meniscal Injury
    • 8% Osteochondritis Dissecans
  • Source: Aggregated and anonymized results from visits to the Buoy AI health assistant (check it out by clicking on “Take Quiz”).

Creaking Knee Checker

Take a quiz to find out why you’re having creaking knee.

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