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You Asked: My Ankles Crack When I Walk Up and Down Stairs

You're asking and I'm answering . . .

Dear Fit,
Is it normal for my ankles to make a cracking or popping sound, the same sound my knuckles make when I crack them? It happens when I'm walking around in the morning, but especially when I go up or down stairs. It doesn't hurt at all, it's just noisy, and my boyfriend thinks something is wrong with me. Is it something I should worry about?
— Poppy Polly

If you're wondering too then


What you're referring to is called crepitus, a cracking or grinding sound that can be heard or felt around the lungs, under the skin, or as in your case, in the joints. It usually occurs in large joints such as the shoulders or knees, but can occur in other joints as well. It's not the same as the loud pop you hear when you crack your knuckles (which is caused by the release of gas bubbles in your joint fluid). What you're describing, is caused by uneven cartilage surfaces rubbing together. Since you're not experiencing any discomfort or impaired range of motion, I wouldn't really worry about it. On the other hand, pain could be a sign of injury, cartilage wear, or arthritis, so if you start to notice inflammation, tenderness, or achiness, it's best to get checked by a doctor.


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