What does knee clicking mean?

Nothing.  That’s the short answer but essentially it’s the correct one.  Clicking, in and of itself, is an extremely common occurrence in a range of joints, however in the absence of its association with pain it can generally be ignored.  Clicking in the knee joint appears particularly commonly on squatting or bending forward.  It’s unclear what causes the clicking noise and while there are some theories put forward as potential causes there is no scientific backing for any of them.

Crunching or cracking around the knee joint on bending and straightening of the knee is another common symptom experienced around the knee joint. This symptom, known as crepitus, can indicate some roughening of the under surface of the patella – the triangular shaped bone at the front of the knee joint.

While crunching, cracking and clicking are common in the knee they generally need not be investigated unless they occur with pain.  However you should have your knee examined by your doctor or a chartered physiotherapist if you’ve had a trauma which has resulted in you not being able to bear weight on your knee or if your knee locks or gives way or looks deformed.  The knee is the largest joint in the body and it’s crucial in keeping us upright and getting us around so look after your knees.