Noisy knees predict arthritis

Frequency of crepitus is a simple and effective predictor of onset of knee osteoarthritis in middle aged and older people, US research shows.

People who noticed frequent grating, cracking or popping of the knee joints had a threefold higher risk of developing symptomatic knee arthritis in the following year compared with those without crepitus, according to the study of almost 3500 older people.

The observational study of people without diagnosed osteoarthritis at baseline shows crepitus frequency reported as “always” by 3.4% of people, “often” by 5.6%, “sometimes