T Nation

Knee Grinding/Noisy Crepitus?


For the last few months I have had a grinding/creaking noise in my knee that from what I've read is along the lines of 'crepitus'. I went to the doc to see if anything was wrong and in his diagnosis there was no problem with my knee as he was pushing on my patella and moving my leg around. He was thinking it was due to my VM not firing properly and that I should work on strengthening this.

I can tell if I sit down with my legs out straight and fire my quads that my left knee seems to fire VM then VL, where the right one seems to fire VL almost exclusively, with VM as an afterthought.

Right now what I am doing to try to help out is:

I stopped lifting lower body completely until I straighten it out
Foam rolling IT band, VL, RF
Knee extensions with pillow under knee (the typical VMO PT exercise)

I tried doing band TKE's but that causes the grinding. Low step-ups also seem to cause the noise. I was going to try to the 'squeeze ball between knees squat', and also thought about doing reps in the bottom half of the squat because I think the VMO is more active in the range.

Do you think this is a good approach? Anything to add/remove or suggestions?


I believe the common opinion is that noise doesn't matter and can't be avoided. Pain or discomfort however do need to be addressed.


Yeah I have read/heard that before, but I'm thinking it is making that noise because of a dysfunction. I'd rather treat the dysfunction and cure it rather than dealing with it until the wear and tear make me need surgery.


well the VL then VMO firing is technically no good - so ya do the TKE's.. but noises shouldnt be a problem unless there's pain.

the best exercise for vmo is a peterson stepup though.. its TKE but closed chani, how it should be.


edit: get an MRI etc if you really want to know... noises might never cease, and that would mean you'd never start training again.


Thanks, guess I will continue on with what I am doing. I tried the peterson step up again and didn't hear the grinding anymore when doing it, which I'm taking as reassurance that what I am doing is working. I've also moved up to using a baseball on my VL, RF. Little more 'ouch factor' to it, but I need something a little more hard than my foam roller I think.

Ya when I asked the doc he said if I wanted to, come back in 2 months if it's still happening and we'll do a x ray or MRI to try and figure it out. I'm hoping it won't come to that and what I'm doing will fix'r up.


True, and especially for the knee. There is a test "Clarke's sign" that is positive to reproduce grinding in the front of the knee, but unless the knee is painful, that crepitis/grinding is not and indicator of a problem. Try not to ruminate about it.