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Crepitus Tied to Incident Symptomatic Knee Osteoarthritis

FRIDAY, May 5, 2017 -- Patients who report frequent grating, cracking, or popping sounds in or around the knees may be at higher risk for impending arthritis, according to a study published online May 4 in Arthritis Care & Research.

Researchers analyzed 3,495 study participants ranging in age from 45 to 79. Some were at risk of knee arthritis simply because of old age, while others had risk factors such as obesity or a history of a significant knee injury.

Of those who complained their knees were "always" noisy, 11.2 percent developed knee arthritis symptoms within a year. That compared with 4.5 percent of people who said their knees "never" popped or cracked. Everyone else fell into the middle. Of people who said their knees "sometimes" or "often" made noise, 7.6 and 8.3 percent, respectively, developed knee arthritis symptoms in the next year.

"Subjective crepitus offers utility for identification of at-risk individuals, predictive modeling, and future research," the authors write.

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Posted: May 2017