I often have patients complain about the "creaking" in their various joints. Whether it be the knee, neck, foot, or any body part, patients often voice concern. I, personally, have never done much reading on crepitus and the correlation to pain/disease, but with the advancements in pain science lately, I have regularly educated patients on not being concerned with the noises, especially since they are often not painful. Claire Robertson recently did a review on the literature surrounding crepitus. The current understanding is that crepitus is unrelated to pathology and is a part of the normal aging process. It is already becoming more and more apparent how little correlation there is between imaging findings such as herniated discs, meniscal tears, RTC tears, OA, etc. and patient symptoms/function. But many patients present with a level of apprehension regarding abnormal imaging findings and crepitus. It is up to us as clinicians to properly educate our patient on normal aging of the body and pain science.
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