Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"Why do my ankles pop?"
I am 30 years old, white male. ever since i was young i remember my ankles popping. there is no pain and i have had no injures but yet off and on throughout the day my ankles will pop. should i be concerned with arthritis?
Your complaint is actually fairly common. Fortunately, the sound alone is rarely a sign of disease by itself. That being said, other conditions or symptoms with this can be a sign of serious disease. The popping sound made by a joint is fairly common. Each joint is comprised of an enclosed space (a joint capsule) in which there is a small amount of fluid that lubricates the joint. With certain motions, the fluid can expand and thereby cause a sound. This is a normal result. For many years people held that this sound was a sign of disease such as arthritis. While there are no perfect studies regarding this, there is no evidence that cracking a joint can cause arthritis. That being said, any joint pain, decreased range of motion, weakness or soreness can be a sign of arthritis. In addition, if there are any other joints involved, then you may have a more widespread joint disease. But without any of these symptoms, it is unlikely that this will signify any serious condition. Also keep in mind that arthritis, is really what we refer to as osteoarthritis. This is the degenerative destruction of joints. Normal wear and tear is exacerbated by strenuous movements and weight -- so maintaining a good weight and exercising in a controlled fashion regularly can help prevent it. Talk to your doctor if you have further concerns.
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