ZocdocAnswersWhy does the top of my left instep make a cracking sound when I walk?

Question

Why does the top of my left instep make a cracking sound when I walk?

I do have a small knot on the top but it does not hurt. I had went to the doctors several years ago cause of the knot on top and they thought is was gout but it turned out not to be.

Answer

The most likely cause of this cracking noise is something called "cavitation" which is a totally natural phenomenon that occurs when small gas bubbles form and pop inside the joint spaces between the bones while you are walking. Cavitation doesn't cause any serious problems, and it shouldn't be associated with any pain, swelling, or other joint symptoms On the other hand, if you do have pain, swelling, or stiffness, then the cracking noise could be from another cause, such as arthritis inside the joint space. This would need to be evaluated by your doctor to figure out what, exactly, is going on and what treatments are needed. I suggest that you discuss this issue with your primary care doctor. They should be able to examine your feet for signs of arthritis or inflammation. They can also take a look at the small bump on the top of your foot, which may be consistent with arthritis or may just be a cyst not requiring any additional treatment. If there is any evidence of arthritis, there are multiple medications that your doctor will be able to suggest to help relieve any pain, stiffness, or other symptom.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or (in the United States) 911 immediately. Always seek the advice of your doctor before starting or changing treatment. Medical professionals who provide responses to health-related questions are intended third party beneficiaries with certain rights under Zocdoc’s Terms of Service.