Should My Knee Replacement Click?

A sense of clicking coming from the knee after total knee replacement is understandably disconcerting. However, it is common and I would even go as far as to say that it is expected. The most likely cause of the clicking is the two new (very hard plastic / metal joint surfaces coming together as you move between non-weightbearing and weightbearing activities. But can the clicking be a symptom of something more serious. Although unlikely, the answer is yes. So how can you tell apart a normal click from a worrisome click?

  • If the click is painless and doesn’t affect the function of your knee, it is likely nothing to worry about. If the clicking is painful and/or is associated with swelling or other symptoms such as loss of sensation or tingling, it would be a good idea to get it checked out by your surgeon.
  • If the click is affecting your function or preventing the knee from moving freely, you should book into see your surgeon.
  • If the click is a new occurrence. If your knee was going along fine, without making any noise, but suddenly starts clicking, getting it checked out is important to rule out the scenario in which your knee implant has moved or become dysfunctional.

If you do decide to see your surgeon to inquire about clicking, he or she is likely to do an x-ray to check out how your implant is sitting. A clinical examination will also help to hone in on other possible drivers of the clicking sensation.


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