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Grinding Knee


When I bend my left knee I feel alot of pain and its very hard to move. In my right knee, when I bend it, it grinds very loudly, but doesn’t hurt. However, if I leave it bent for about 5 minutes or so, it has very sharp pains. Now, the biggest problem is that I’m only 17 years old, and have had this since I was about 12 years old. When I was 12 years old I had surgery on my kidneys and my doctor told me to watch out for my knees. Well, he relocated and his replacement ignored it, saying that it wasn’t anything. Even a 12 year old can see that excessive grinding isn’t just nothing. Also, when you put your hand on my knee you can feel the grinding and something hitting other parts of my knee, not in the normal fashion. I guess me and my family just ignored it over the last 5 years, and now it’s starting to bother me even more. The pain in the my left knee is getting more intense and the grinding in my right is getting louder. Oh, and just so you know, I’ve never broken leg or dislocated my knee cap before, and I drink PLENTY of milk. Actually, I don’t drink anything but milk, except for on occasion, like a family function I’ll drink pepsi or juice. Should I go see the doctor, and does anyone else have this sort of problem?


  1. I have had it for 28 years. It started when I was 13.In Chodromalacia, the grinding happens when the kneecap doesn’t move properly and rubs against one part of the knee point. This causes damage to the cartilage. It is common about young athletes who develop a muscle imbalance by building up one muscle group, but don’t build up the opposing muscle group (runners knee, jumpers knee). It could be you were just born that way.Chondromalacia can be treated with rest and then physical therapy to balance the muscles around the knee. Take care of it now before it gets worse and requires surgery. There is no quick fix.

  2. I have similar issues with my left knee. I went to an ortho doctor who referred me to a physical therapist. The PT noted an imbalance in my gluteus minimus and gluteus medial muscles, my left side being significantly weaker than my right. As a result my pelvis tends to drop while bearing any type of weight causing my knee to be rotated, applying additional pressure on my knee joint. Well, three weeks into the treatment I am already seeing drastic improvements..though it will be a while before the knee heals.

  3. Ok when i bend my left knee i can hear something grinding and popping in my knee at the same time. Is that normal? Also its a very sharp pain I play soccer all the time and I think its getting worst. today i was running for about 2 mins and then I couldn’t run no more. My right knee doesn’t hurt me at all, its only my left knee. I am 16 yrs old and Im planning to go pro soccer but with my left knee can i still play soccer? Oh i never broken any bones in my body, dislocated, or torn anything. I drink lots of water.

  4. Both my knees grind. They do not hurt. At times I notice some irritation. I went to a doctor. He told me surgery is inevitable if I plan on walking for the rest of my life. Also he said my father will die if I don’t fix them.

  5. I have this problem too, but not exactly the same. I think I first noticed it around 14 or 15 (I am 23 now). It started with my right knee. I’ve never felt pain associated with the grinding noise. However, if it is bent past 90 degrees and accompanied by any sort of pressure, it will eventually stiffen and feel sore. During the past few years, my left knee has decided to join in on the fun. Now, whenever I have to walk up a flight of stairs, I sound like I’m smuggling boxes of Cracker Jack. I do not have flat feet, and have a relatively straight spine (to the best of my knowledge). My doctor told me that I had patellofemoral syndrome; but after researching it, that seems wrong. I am not athletic, but very muscular still. I did play a lot of soccer in my youth and I’ve read that that is also associated with chondromalacia (sp?). Long story short, it’s really annoying, and I wish someone could figure out how to fix it. 🙂

    • Just wanted to let you know that patellofemoral syndrome and chondromalacia are often used in the medical field interchangeably. Chondromalacia is commonly referred to and patellofemoral syndrome. I have suffered with it since I was oh, 10.

  6. Hi Paige,I have exactly the same problem with my both of my knees since I was about 15. I’m 30 now.Over the years I have gone for a lot of physiotherapy to try and build up my quads as I was told this was the problem. However it never improved my knees.I believe my knee problem stems from having flat feet and doing a lot of heavy weightlifting as a kid.I would like to know if anyone has ever had surgery to correct this problem.Regards,Donald

  7. Hi there,I have a very similar problem. I had been able to feel a grinding sensation in my knee for a while, but not much pain. Then I fell off my bike and hit my knee hard on the ground. Since then, the grinding has got worse, and the area under my kneecap that becomes exposed when I bend my knee is always tender. The pain gets worse the more I move or exercise it.What did you do in the end? Did you have any luck with the treatment?Some more background information. My left leg is shorter than my right by 16mm. I have been wearing foot orthotics for about three years now, and my lateral collateral ligament (the ligament on the outside of the knee) can sometimes be painful and often pops/snaps when I stand on my toes.Michael

  8. My right knee has been grinding for a few yrs. now but there was no pain. I am 50 yrs. old and was in a car accident the middle of Nov. 2006. and hit my knee on the ash tray or front council area. At about 6-weeks following the accident I began having pain when bending the knee. Swelling is also present. Is it likely to be a result of the car accident or age? I don’t know whether to pursue my auto insurance or medical insurance. My auto accident claim is still open.

  9. The first thing that comes to mind given your age and the grinding is perhaps a muscle imbalance and your patella is not tracking properly, thus it is “knocking” into the long bones of the leg and causing grinding (crepitus) and ultimately pain. Go see a doc and ask for a physical therapy prescription. Go see a physical therapist who can do Mcconnel taping or is a certified kinesiotaping therapist. Your PT can do an in depth evaluation and hopefully come up with some conslusive diagnosis. Good luck,M. Scott PT