A recent observational study of nearly 3,500 participants has found that people who hear grating, popping or cracking sounds in or around their knee joints may have an elevated risk of developing knee osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis is a breakdown of the cartilage inside your joints, and most commonly affects people over 45. “Many people who have signs of osteoarthritis on x-rays do not necessarily complain of pain, and there are no known strategies for preventing the development of pain in this group of people,” said Dr. Grace Lo, lead author of the study and an Assistant Professor of Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine. “This study suggests that if these people have noisy knees, they are at higher risk for developing pain within the next year compared with the people who do not have noisy knees. Future studies that target people who have x-ray signs of osteoarthritis, and who do not complain of pain but do report noisy knees, hold the promise of identifying interventions that can prevent knee pain.”
Other symptoms of osteoarthritis include:
- Sore or stiff joints
- Pain or tenderness
- A limited range of motion, or stiffness
If you have experienced "noisy knees" or any of these other symptoms, visit your GP and ask for a thorough check-up.