What Clicking Knees Could Mean

Clicking Knees are Very CommonA common occurrence for a lot of people is the sound of their knee joints “clicking” when they sit down, stand up, or put a lot of weight on their knee. For the most part the issue of clicking knees is not any indication of injury or cause for concern. Most doctors advise that unless the clicking sound is accompanied by pain in the knee, then you shouldn’t worry. There are many harmless reasons for the clicking sound. However, if you are experiencing clicking in your knees that is accompanied by pain, or difficulty moving, then you should look into some potential causes with your primary care physician.

Below are a few of the common explanations for clicking knees:

Meniscus Tears

The meniscus is often referred to as the “shock absorber.” It is made up of two disks that keep the kneecap in place. If one of the disks is damaged, it can disrupt the balance of the knee. A Mensical tear can cause a clicking sound in the knee because the disk is rubbing against parts of the area it usually doesn’t come in contact with.

Cartilage Injury

Occasionally the cartilage covering the kneecap can become worn down. This may cause a piece of cartilage to dislocate and catch inside the joint. When this happen, people describe the feeling as a grinding sensation within their knee.

Extra Tissue

Sometimes you can build up additional unnecessary tissue around the knee joint. The build up will cause the tissue to be trapped between parts of the joint. This will cause a clicking whenever the knee joint is moving.  

Runner’s Knee

This condition is often caused by an injury or overuse of the tibia. Runner’s knee happens when the kneecap isn’t aligned with the femur. This displacement will often make the knee pop, or click whenever utilized.


The inflammation that occurs with arthritis will cause the knee to align differently than usual. Along with clicking knees, arthritis can also cause stiffness in the joint.

An ACL Tear or MCL Tear

Injuries unto themselves, an ACL or MCL tear will cause pain and stiffness in the knee joint. The injury will also affect the location of the kneecap within the leg, which may cause clicking knees.

If you are experiencing clicking knees that are accompanied by pain, or inhibiting you from movement, there are treatment options available. Call Orthopaedic Specialists at 502-212-2663 to schedule an appointment with Dr. Grossfeld today!