Creaky knees: Is there a reason for concern? A qualitative study of the perspectives of people with knee crepitus

Review written by Todd Hargrove info

Key Points

  1. People with knee crepitus do not consider it to be a major concern.
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BACKGROUND & OBJECTIVE

Crepitus means audible or palpable sensations of grating, cracking, or popping around a moving joint. Some patients believe crepitus is associated with degeneration of the joint and are afraid that crepitus‐producing movement can cause further damage (1). This results in a decrease in activity levels and modification of movements to avoid crepitus and prevent further joint degeneration (1). Furthermore, people seeking advice regarding their crepitus expect their healthcare professional to have a strong evidence‐based understanding on the management of crepitus‐producing knees.

This study investigated beliefs about crepitus in people with knee crepitus, how those beliefs affect exercise and physical activity levels, and how those beliefs were shaped by interactions with health care professionals.

Some patients believe crepitus is associated with degeneration of the joint and are afraid that crepitus‐producing movement can cause further damage.
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Clinicians should educate their clients, provide reassurance about the benefits of exercise, and help clients find the types of exercise that will be most beneficial for them personally.

METHODS

The authors interviewed 24 people with knee crepitus. 16 were female and 8 were male, and the age range was 21-69. The people spoke in focus groups and individual interviews about their experience with crepitus, whether it was associated with

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