Why Does My Ankle Pop Or Creak?

Do you ever hear your foot or ankle “pop” when you are walking or enjoying a leisurely activity? Does this ever cause you any concerns or worries about your foot health? Feet and ankles pop and creak for numerous reasons and often cause concerns in people who hear their feet pop and creak. These popping and creaking sounds are often painless, but if the popping begins to cause you pain, it is a time to go see your podiatrist to find out what is causing the discomfort.

What Causes My Foot to Pop?

Hearing these sounds is not uncommon and can be caused by many other foot conditions. The following is a list of some of the most common reasons for the ankles popping or creaking:

  • Previous ankle sprains – this is because the ligaments are loose and allows the bones to move more freely than they should be; as a result, the ankle because unstable

  • Tendon Dislocation/Snapping over bones – When a joint is moved out of its normal place, the tendons around it move as well, and tend to make the snapping sound when it is moving back to its normal position; this is most commonly seen in the tendons on the outside of your ankle (Fibularis/peroneal tendons)

  • Small amounts of gases escaping – Most of the joints in your body have a fluid that helps lubricate and protect them (called synovial fluid). This fluid contains small amounts of certain gases such as oxygen, carbon dioxide, and nitrogen. Sometimes these gases form bubbles in the synovial fluid and eventually get released; think of it like kids blowing bubbles through a straw into their drinks and hearing the bubbles pop

 

When Should I Go See a Podiatrist?

In most cases, the popping sounds are painless, and are something you do not have to worry about. Most of the time, a foot that pops will not show up as anything serious on a scan. However, sometimes the popping can cause pain, and are clues to more serious foot conditions. Some examples could be arthritic joints (cartilage degenerated), Achilles tendon tear/rupture, previous injuries to other tendons, or Morton’s neuroma (entrapped nerve in the foot). It is important to find out what is causing these painful pops to ensure it does not worsen, or lead to more serious foot problems.

If you are concerned or have more questions about any popping or creaking sounds in your foot, please do not hesitate to schedule an appointment with Dr. Gary N. Friedlander or Dr. Jay C. Larson at Sole Foot and Ankle Specialists in Glendale, Arizona, and have all your treatment options presented to you to ensure you continue to maintain happy, healthy feet this summer.

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