The knee joint is a very intricate and sensitive area. WebMD details the many components of this joint: “The knee joins the thigh bone (femur) to the shin bone (tibia). The smaller bone that runs alongside the tibia (fibula) and the kneecap (patella) are the other bones that make the knee joint.
Tendons connect the knee bones to the leg muscles that move the knee joint. Ligaments join the knee bones and provide stability to the knee.” Because of this complexity, precautions must be taken to care for this joint. And if your knee cracks when walking or doing other activities, it is time to get that resolved.
Primary Causes of Knee Cracking
Knee cracking occurs within a variety of situations; however, there are two primary causes to note. It may relate to injury or wear of the cartilage, although this is most often seen in older adults like those with osteoarthritis.
Knee cracking may also be due to tears to the meniscus, which acts as a cushion between the femur and tibia, absorbing the bulk of shock during running, walking, and other high-intensity exercise. Tears can occur at any age when there is a sudden shift in weight, like sharp twisting, or when there is a traumatic, direct injury to the area.
Effects of Knee Replacement Surgery
Many people have benefited from knee replacement surgery. But this surgery is painful and there is a long recovery time associated with it. Recovery requires hours of rehab and relearning how to walk. Post-op, the immune system’s capacity is reduced, and serious infection could develop in the area. In addition, a surgical candidate’s working hours are reduced to accommodate the surgery and treatment plan.
Reducing Instances of Knee Cracks
Since knee injuries can lead to serious consequences, prevention is key. To avoid cracks and other indicators of knee injury, it is important to increase regular physical activity. Exercise will improve flexibility and lower body weight, which reduces the amount of stress put on the joint.
Be sure to warm up completely before engaging in activity to allow the muscles to be more malleable, and prepared for exertion. It is also important to wear appropriate, properly fitting footwear for every occasion, including workouts, the office, or a night out on the town.