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10 year old having popping sound in knee while walking. Should be concerned?

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Orthopaedic Surgeon
Practicing since : 1994
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my 10 year old daughter's left knee cracks when she walks or goes up stairs and has pain for a few minutes. This happens three or four times a day for the past three days. She is very active and plays sports. Should I be concerned
Posted Sat, 28 Apr 2012 in Bones, Muscles and Joints
Answered by Dr. Praveen Tayal 2 hours later
Thanks for posting your query.

Pain in the knee on walking and going upstairs in a 10 year old can be due to many reasons. I need to have a more detailed information to be specific in my opinion.

1. Is there any history of any kind of injury to the knee?
2. Is her right knee absolutely normal?
3. Any associated fever or joint swelling.
4. Any history of pain in any other joint of the body in the recent past.
5. Does the pain persist even when she is resting?

Your feedback will help me in suggesting you better.

Meanwhile you can give her acetaminophen (Children's Motrin) kid tablet twice daily after breakfast and dinner.
Ask her to avoid bearing weight on the knee. Bed rest is advisable till the acute inflammation subsides and a diagnosis is made.

You can use a crepe bandage around the knee for better relief.

Anticipating an early response.
Wishing your daughter a good health.

Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: 10 year old having popping sound in knee while walking. Should be concerned? 15 hours later
1. She has not had any injury to her knee
2. Her right knee is normal
3. No fever or joint swelling Can touch any part of knee no pain
4. No history of pain in any other joints.
5. She is telling me it feels like a bubble popping in her knee and it hurts for a few seconds after. Does not hurt when resting. She told me it happen twice today both times she is kneeing down to pick up things. It does not seem to be inflammation. She plays soccer alot and runs around. She is not heavy and very athletic. TRY to get her to stay off her knee but that is not easy. She wants to still go to soccer practice and play game on weekend . So far I said no practice. She is not complaining about it but I am alittle concerned
Answered by Dr. Praveen Tayal 5 hours later
Thanks for writing again.

You have really given a good description of her problem.

A bubble popping in her knee might be indicative of a meniscal tear. An MRI will help in the diagnosis.

Try to avoid bearing weight as much as possible. Exercises can strengthen the muscles around the knee, especially the quadriceps. Using a knee brace might be helpful.

Hope my answer is helpful.

Wishing you good health.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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