Pain and Cracking sound in back of knee

Patient

Q: For the last couple of days, I have been experiencing pain in the back of one of my knees. I have had pain when bending it, but straightening it was OK. I had pain when walking on it. It felt "tight". Today, when getting into my car, I heard two cracking sounds. Instant pain and tears. Now, I am in constant pain, can't walk on it or put any weight on it. I have a hard time moving my leg, can't straighten it without extreme pain, but bending it is better. No swelling that I can see. Help!

Doctor

A:    There is a possibility that your symptoms may be due to degenerative changes in your knees, meaning Arthritis. On the other hand, the way you described the situations when the pain worsens may suggest a common presentation of a Patellofemoral Syndrome or Chondromalacia patella  . The pain typically is located behind the kneecap and often shows during activities that require knee flexion and forceful contraction of the quadriceps (during squats, ascending/descending stairs or pendants). Pain may be worsen by sitting with the knee flexed for a long period of time, such as while watching a movie, hence leading to the terms "theatre sign" and "movie-goer's knee." The causes are diverse: Overuse (repetitive use or activity), overloading, and misuse of the patellofemoral joint. Physical Therapy and some lifestyle changes may help to improve the symptoms, meaning: weight loss and exercise. Regular exercise may help you to strengthen the muscles, especially quads and also potentially stimulate cartilage growth and regeneration.

Related Q&A

Q: My knee is severely swollen (size of a grapefruit). I had an xray which was normal. It hurts a ton on the inside of m...

Q: When i went up the stairs i got knee pain as if its twisting on the inside. INtense pain for at least 5 minutes cant ...

Q: My knee hurts when I cross my legs also when standing for link the amount of time I currently have a standing office ...

Q: Hello, I have a marble sized knot popping out from under my knees cap cause if pain then it will slide back under my ...

Q: I'm 22 years old, 5'3" tall, weighing at 60 kgs. I have gained 8 kgs within 2 months with absolutely no change...

 
DOCTOR ADVISORY BOARD
218

Dr. James Obaji M.D.

  • 247 Reviews
  • Family Physician
173

Dr. Suneel Sharman M.D.

  • 190 Reviews
  • Family Physician
138

Dr. Pat Golden M.D.

  • 169 Reviews
  • Cardiologist
98

Dr. Kunaal Jindal M.D.

  • 112 Reviews
  • Plastic Surgeon
CNN
BBC
MSNBC
CBS
abcNews
FoxNews