Get your health question answered instantly from our pool of 18000+ doctors from over 80 specialties

148 Doctors Online
Doctor Image
Dr. Andrew Rynne

Family Physician

Exp 50 years

I will be looking into your question and guiding you through the process. Please write your question below.

Is knuckle cracking on knee while doing physiotherapy normal?

Answered by
Dr. Saurabh Gupta

Orthopaedic Surgeon, Joint Replacement

Practicing since :2004

Answered : 5930 Questions

Posted on Tue, 19 Aug 2014 in Bones, Muscles and Joints
Question: Hi,
My name is XXXXXXX 3 months ago (26th April) I fell down and fractured my tibia. I was diagnosed as follows

Comminuted fracture of superior end plate of lateral condyle of tibia (left leg).

I was wearing a cast for 3 weeks and was in no weight bearing for 12 weeks.
After that the doctor took an X ray and confirmed that the fracture is healing and advised partial weight bearing (not more than 35 kgs).
I have been doing physiotherapy for the last 6 weeks (active knee exercises and knee strengthening), with partial weight bearing walking.

When I do physiotherapy like quadriceps, I feel knuckle cracking on my knee or knee joints.
I want to know if this is abnormal or normal.
If it is abnormal, does it signify any problem, if yes what problem
Should I discontinue physiotherapy

I dont feel any pain and I feel a lot of improvement in bending my knee since doing physiotherapy.

I can upload my x-ray pictures if needed.

Kindly help
Answered by Dr. Saurabh Gupta 51 minutes later
Brief Answer:
Do not worry, this is normal.

Detailed Answer:
Thanks for writing to us

Do not worry, this is normal. Sometimes as a normal phenomena, fluid (synovial fluid) that lubricate the joint release bubbles which pop and crackle with movement. This occurs very commonly after a period of inactivity or during certain movements. I am not sure if this is what you have, but this is my most likely explanation to your symptoms.

You don't need to worry if there is no associated joint pain. Continue doing physiotherapy and quadriceps exercises to improve the overall integrity of the joint - stronger muscle will take the weight of the joint and help to reduce the pressure on articulating surfaces, thus preventing any damage to the joint.

Hope this helps you. Let me know if you have any more concern.

Wishing you speedy recovery...

Warm regards.

Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
Follow up: Dr. Saurabh Gupta 10 hours later
Hi Doctor,
Thanks for your response. There is no pain when the crackling noise comes. But occasionally, when I do exercises there is some amount of pain, this pain does not sustain and goes away when I continue physiotherapy.

For example, after some weeks of exercises I was recommended to wear ankle weights (not more than 2 KGs) and continue with the same exercises.
When I wear weights and lift my leg, there is some (bearable) pain but after 2 or 3 times I do the same exercises, the pain goes away and it is normal.

So when I do it first time for the day there is some pain (very negligible and completely bearable)

My major concern is the crackling noise, as it never came when there was excessive swelling. Now I can see the swelling has reduced (not completely gone, but reduced), and these crackling noise comes, thats why I was concerned.

Please let me know what will be your suggestion

Continue physiotherapy with 2kg weight despite the small amount of pain or do it without any weights.

Please let me know, if on a healing bone, for some reasons the bone cracks further, will it cause pain?

Thank you so much again for your assistance again.
Last time the conversation with you was very helpful to me, and I am hoping to get some advise this time also

Answered by Dr. Saurabh Gupta 27 hours later
Brief Answer:
There is nothing to worry.

Detailed Answer:
Sorry for late reply.

As there is no pain when the crackling noise comes, there is nothing to worry as I had already explained.

You can continue physiotherapy with 2 Kg weight if you are comfortable.

It will cause severe pain and you will be unable to bear weight, if the bone cracks further for some reasons.

Hope this helps you.

Take care.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
Follow up: Dr. Saurabh Gupta 1 hour later
Hi Doctor,
Thanks again for the response. I am a lot relieved now.
I have only one more question after which I will close the discussion

Can I drive car?
My injury is on left leg, and left leg operates the clutch pedal. I have tried pressing the clutch pedal multiple times and tried to press and hold for some time (in a parked car for checking), I dont feel any pain. Please let me know if driving is also some kind of exercises or one should not drive until full weight bearing

Thanks again so much
Answered by Dr. Saurabh Gupta 2 hours later
Brief Answer:
You can drive car.

Detailed Answer:

You can drive car. As fracture is in healing stage and there is no any associated pain, there is no any harm in driving car.

Wishing you good health..

Warm regards.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar

The User accepted the expert's answer

Share on
Question is related to
Diseases and Conditions
Medical Topics ,  

Recent questions on  Severe pain

doctor1 MD

Hi, My husband has pus filled pimples in the backside of his head. He has very oily hair. We have observed that they come up whenever he has sweets or his hair becomes very oily. They usually come and go very frequently. It has been like this for...

doctor1 MD

My father undergone Electrical cardioversion treatment due to having severe Atrial Fibrilation (AF). Needless to say the treatment did not work after 4 attempts and they have prescribed him various medications to control the rate of the heart. We...

doctor1 MD

I have a severe pain in my right arm, actually in the muscle, upper arm... also started as a long standing fibromyalgia pain for years in shoulder ... this is different and far more painful... it is like the muscle, nerves, etc. are all affected....

doctor1 MD

If I might have had a heart attack 4 nights ago, should I go to emergency now? I have an appointment to see my doctor in 3 weeks. I'm 52 yr old woman, no family heart history, fit, excellent health (blood pressure, cholesterol excellent) but woke wed night with severe crushing pain started centre of chest then felt under my breasts for about 30-45 minutes whether i laid down, stood up walked around it was like a tight rubber band. Is it too late to get checked out asap? 52yrs old female..5'5", 130pounds, healthy.

doctor1 MD

Hello, my dr. Is out of of office for next week. Medical imaging called me to tell me that they picked up a 22 mm cyst on my left ovary . And a small umbilical hernia . I ma having having extreme pain on my left lower side and I just started a period again after just having one less then 2 weeks ago. My pain level is becoming pretty unbearable. Should I go to ER?

doctor1 MD

I HAD A THALAMUS STROKE IN SEPTEMBER. IT HAS LEFT ME WITH NEUROPATHY ON MY LEFT SIDE FROM MY SCALP TO THE BOTTOM OF MY FOOT, HAND BEING THE WORST. Since October I have been experiencing tremors in my left leg and foot and now on my right side. I was hospitalized in October and November for this and they can't find out why this happens. Is this part of my stroke and something like nuculi were affected. Will this go away?

doctor1 MD

Hello, my name is Michael Boswell. I am a 22 year old part-time student living with my mother. I am writing because I have been to one gastroenterologist before, and they couldn t quite seem to find the answers I m looking for. At the age of 16, I started taking a weight lifting supplement ( creatine pill form) and the day I took 4 of them like what was told on the back of the bottle, I could already tell I wasn t able to hold in my urine, I couldn t even sit down for my football meeting because I had to go to the bathroom to urinate. I then struggled for 2 years through the remainder of High School with severe chronic pain , I went and saw my family doctor who then told me to go see a specialist, and I had two colonscopies and endoscopy done. The gastroenterologist agreed there was something causing my irritation, but couldn t figure out what it was. I had blood work done, and everything came back for Crohns Disease , and they then labeled me with IBS. I m asking for help because I m at a dead end, I still suffer EVERY day with some sort of symptom, whether it be irritation and pain in my stomach, or when I feel a Bowel Movement coming on the urgency that I have because I know I will not be able to hold it in...the medication they had given me worked, but with other symptoms arising. I was prescribed Hyosyamine ER 0.375 MG, and Paroxetine HCL 20 MG. I took them as told on the bottle, and I would RARELY have a BM through the week, but instead I would have one full day (Saturday) of me having to sit on the toilet. I have read that there are no cures, which is very discouraging, this disease or whatever you want to call it, has taken the happiness and normality out of my life, and has replaced it with anger and no hope. I am hoping there is someone that can please help me...