Q: The other day I noticed that my right ankle kept clicking every time I
took a step. This has happened before and it just went away, and even though
it doesn't hurt, I'm worried it could be a sign of a serious joint
problem like arthritis. Am I overreacting?
Dr. Donnica: If the clicking sound is your only symptom, then you probably
have nothing to worry about. This is a fairly common occurrence in young, healthy
individuals and is considered normal. The clicks are usually due to flicking of
the ligament from one position to another. These clicks can also occur in the
knee, hip or even fingers. Clicking is also common in the jaw, especially in people
with temporomandibular joint syndrome (TMJ).
We sometimes worry about clicking in older people's joints, however, especially
if it starts in the neck and spreads. In this case, it may indicate osteophyte
formation and the thickening of the synovium, both of which can lead to degenerative
conditions. If your clicking is joined by pain or swelling, you should consult
your physician. Otherwise, carry on!
Created: 5/18/2005  - Donnica Moore, M.D.