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Is It Normal To Hear Clicking After Knee Replacement Surgery?

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Updated June 05, 2014

Written or reviewed by a board-certified physician. See About.com's Medical Review Board.

knee replacement clicking noises

Clicking is a common complaint after knee replacement surgery.

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Question: Is It Normal To Hear Clicking After Knee Replacement Surgery?
Many patients who undergo knee replacement surgery will describe noises that come from their replaced joint. People commonly mention a clicking or clunking coming from their knee replacement when they walk, and they often worry that something is wrong with their knee replacement. Is it a problem to hear clicking after knee replacement surgery?
Answer: Most often, no, it is not a problem. It is not unusual for people to be able to hear or feel their knee replacement after they have surgery.

Noises can come from a number of possible sources, including the metal and plastic implants, tendons, and fluid around the knee. Determining the source of the noise is something your surgeon can help you with. However, take comfort in that fact that many patients describe clicks and other noises that come from their knee replacement.

That said, there are some times that noises coming from a replaced knee should be evaluated by your surgeon:

  • New noises coming from the replaced knee: Most often, noises and clicks coming from a knee replacement tend to diminish over time. New noises should be evaluated by your surgeon.

  • Noises associated with pain: Painless noises are often normal, but when pain, deformity, or swelling is associated with the noise, that's a good sign the knee needs evaluation.

Source:

Total Knee Replacement. American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, April 2009.

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