Discussions By Condition: I cannot get a diagnosis.

Relentless ankle popping

Posted In: I cannot get a diagnosis. 18 Replies
  • Posted By: Anonymous
  • June 16, 2007
  • 10:38 PM

So,
For a few years, my ankles have been persistently popping upon any sort of bending motion. I can literally stand up, bend a little at my ankles and they will pop, wait a few seconds for them to "recharge" and do it again. When I walk down a set of stairs, everyone knows I am coming by the loud snaps that occur with each step.

It's not painful, but quite annoying.. and sometimes the snapping is so strong and sharp that it's almost .. ticklish? I cannot really characterize the feeling.

I've been to a podiatrist twice this year, where asking about the popping had not been the main thing. I've got haglund's deformity, or "pump bump" in my heels, the beginnings of bunions, almost flat feet (my left arch is fallen, though, apparently.. and only the podiatrist who actually got eye level with my feet on the ground could notice), and an extra "accessory" bone in each foot.. Also, both my ankles apparently have an unusually large range of motion, or are wobbly. When asked about the popping, both podiatrists asked if it was painful and when I said not exactly, they say not to worry about it. But it is really, really annoying.

In high school (I'm a sophomore in college now), when I was a bit more active, I did dance. Not too seriously, though. All my dancemates could hear popping while doing the repetitions of jumps in ballet..

Any speculations on a cause for all this popping? And some way to alleviate it? Any?

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18 Replies:

  • I pop alot too. my ankles almost always, and my wrists and elbows. but i know exactly what you mean about the going down the stairs thing. when i was little i couldnt even sneak up on anyone in hide and seek cos they would hear my ankles popping when i walked. ha ha. but ive noticed its only a constant thing when im barefoot. is it the same with you? well anyways, i went to a chiropractor a while ago (i also have problems with my back..) and he did this thing where i was flat on my stomach and held onto the end of the table with my hands and he pulled down on my feet and it made my ankles pop and my ankle felt alot less ...tense for lack of a better word. and after that the popping stopped for a couple of weeks. i dont know about any long term treatment for you but you might want to look into a chiropractor and see if that helps.
    hazel10 2 Replies Flag this Response
  • Thanks for your reply! They pop even when I'm with shoes.. My elbows and wrists (and knees) pop unaided a lot too, but definitely not as frequently as the ankles. Interesting--never thought about a chiropractor! I will look into it as even a couple of weeks relief from the popping would be wonderful.
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies Flag this Response
  • hi, my ankles do the same thing!! It started when i was young, and now at 47 it's worsened. To the pt of severe swelling and pain. the ft doctor wanted me to wear a splint for 2 yrs! l said no way would that work for me, as you couldnt even get a shoe over it. My R ankle is the worst, it swells up and is painful from the popping noise. l did go to a chiropractor, and after the 1st painless treatment, the swelling went away as did the pain. so now, l have a treatment on it once a month. and life is good!! l actually think it's a tight tendon snapping over another. and over the years, and the wear and tear it has worsen. Hope this info helps, l feel for you =) Good luck!
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies Flag this Response
  • This isn't scientific and I am not a physican, but I have been to several. Tendons that are streched too much exert gas and "POP". If you ankles are doing this from regular standing it is because you tendons have shortened. I will guess that you have strained them (such as excercise) but not strenghtened them ( through post-workout stretching ). If you were to visit a Physical Therpist or even a Cryopractor (sp?), they could measure your flexibility. This strain isn't a good thing long term, it could be a precursor arthritis. But stretching, is quick and a week of daily can yeild results. Ya, my ankles used to pop, until I went to the poditirist, the physical therapist and finally got into the habit of stretching....daily...weekly what ever....
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies Flag this Response
  • So long as you aren't in pain, popping is normal, and it has the medical name crepitus. It's almost always harmless, but it surely can be a conversation starter- my knee joints have always been noisy. But just in case, have a look here: http://www.wrongdiagnosis.com/sym/crepitus.htm
    aquila 1,263 Replies Flag this Response
  • I actually have a question in line with this thread, as opposed to helpful info. I also have had joint popping for years (ankles, knees, wrists), but it never bugged me much. About a week ago, I stood up out of a chair, and when my right ankled popped it was very very painful. The popping is still painful, it feels like bones are grinding together. There's no pain when I walk or run, just when it pops. And for the most part, I can avoid the popping when I think about it (I've been able to get through with only about one or two pops a day). There's also no visible swelling, deformity or redness that I can see.I went to my doctor just to get it checked today, and the exact answer I got was "it seems like a you problem... I think you're just going to have to deal with it".So, no diagnosis there. All I want to know is if it's anything I have to worry about, or if I should just "deal with it".
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies Flag this Response
  • hmmm, let me see if I can answer a few questions here...First, there are several different sounds that occur in the ankle, as I "suffer" from the same "problem"...The two distinctive sounds are a quick snap, or pop, while the other is a deeper thud that can be felt more in the foot and tibia.. The snap usually comes in rotation, or planting the foot. This is the sound of the tendons... think what happens when you stretch a rubber band then quickly release it. It goes back to its true form coupled by a snapping sound. Here, some type of damage has occured to the ligaments that stabilize the foot/ankle. They have become tighter and lost some of their elasticity, while in some cases they have become over stretched and allow for too much movement. This can occur from overuse without adequate repair time, or lack of use. (ever see an old rubber band?? hard to stretch, and breaks realllllly easy) My recommendation for the "repair" of the ligaments would be moderate stretching. The problem here is many people are often misinformed on HOW to stretch. It seems like a simple topic, but many people suffer from pulled, strained, etc muscles, tendons, & ligaments due to improper techniques. When stretching, it's important to maintain a controlled motion, this ensures no peculiar tweaks while stretching. Secondly, and most importantly, when stretching, you NEVER want to take the target area to its MAXIMUM potention and hold it there. NEVER NEVER NEVER!! (you wouldn't go bench press 300 lbs before warming up would you?) From recent work with my therapist, orthopedist, and chiropractos, the best stretching often involves two people (and believe me, my true potential was brought out when aided in stretching). A simple stretching excersice that can be done alone for your ankle involves you, a stretch band preferably, and the leg of a heavy piece of furniture. Have the band around the leg so that it cannot come off, and the other end around your foot. Scoot as far from the furniture until it is pulling on your ankle. Here you want a good amount of tension (not as much as you can handle just yet) while it is pulling your foot down, keep your heel planted and use the muscles to pull it towards your body. Repeat this a few times, not tiring the ankle out and then move back some more, applying more pressure on your foot, pulling it down more and requiring more force to bring your foot up. This not only stretches the muscles and tendons, but promotes growth as well as strength for the target areas. Oh, also motion is key, make sure randomly throughout the day you keep the ankle moving, dont let it get tight on you. Now onto the deeper thud sound you hear. This is the actual movment of the bones in the ankle (tibia, fibula, and talus) This movement is allowed due to overstretched (loosened) ligaments. These ligaments have been loosened to overuse, and improper care. They need to be stretched peoperly to be strenghtened. The same stretching techniques stated above will help drasticlly with this. In strenghtening the ligaments, the bones are held in place, reducing, and possibly eliminating and popping/cracking sound. Although we may hear many sounds in our foot/ankle, but feel no pain, is because the components of our foot/ankle are #1 in use, and #2 in a weakend state. Its important to take care of yourself physically, and nutritionally. Physical management helps one aspect of health, but nutrition plays an equal role in overall health. Lubrication of joints helps with the fluent, unrestricted motion of joints. Another possibility... could be scar tissue which would more so restrict movement.. butttt we wont get into that this time around.eat well, and remember STRETCHHHHH (the right way of course =)p.s. Im not a doctor...yet
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies Flag this Response
  • hi i have the same prob. wih my ankle. Except ive been researching and tink it might be peroneal tendon sublaxation. I can actuaally see the tendon pop over my ankle bone. All the sites says one of the symptoms is pain, but it doesnt really hurt when it pops out, but just feels uncomfortable. can someone please help me figure out what my condition is?
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies Flag this Response
  • Dear Co Sufferers...i found a work around to handle this...Its been quite sometime i have this popping/snapping sound from my right foot ankle...Its not painful but very annoying when ppl comment on it...I had 3 ankle injuries previously due to slips and falls...I Finally approaced a senior orthopedian and explained my situation..he suggested modifying the shoe sole in a fashion that inner part is slightly elevated (1/2 cm) so that u r foot is slightly tilted to the right, apparently the sound is not heard..u can check this by walking with slightly bent ankle to the right..I am experimenting this for a while and check if this can cure the problem after some days...Thanks,Raj.
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies
    • August 23, 2010
    • 04:49 AM
    • 0
    Flag this Response
  • my ankles pop as well, and im 13! its when i rotate my right ankle, and it doesnt hurt, but its loud!!! when i go to karate, even the 40 year olds look at me alarmingly. my dads says i may have to quit but i dont want to!!! help!!!
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies
    • September 11, 2010
    • 09:25 PM
    • 0
    Flag this Response
  • It could mean that your knees are out of line. A chiropracter should be able to help.
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies Flag this Response
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  • I pop alot too. my ankles almost always, and my wrists and elbows. but i know exactly what you mean about the going down the stairs thing. when i was little i couldnt even sneak up on anyone in hide and seek cos they would hear my ankles popping when i walked. ha ha. but ive noticed its only a constant thing when im barefoot. is it the same with you? well anyways, i went to a chiropractor a while ago (i also have problems with my back..) and he did this thing where i was flat on my stomach and held onto the end of the table with my hands and he pulled down on my feet and it made my ankles pop and my ankle felt alot less ...tense for lack of a better word. and after that the popping stopped for a couple of weeks. i dont know about any long term treatment for you but you might want to look into a chiropractor and see if that helps.ok so my ankes have been popping like that to i mean its driving me nuts but it hurts when it pops and i dont know what to do can you or anyone help please
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies Flag this Response
  • Hi. I know this is a late (really late) reply. If you do see this, I have the same problem. I injured my right ankle playing ice hockey 4 years ago and saw 4 or 5 different doctors about the ligament "snapping" over my ankle bone. After x-rays, ultra sounds and a MRI, I was told there was nothing wrong with it. Very frustrating!! Well, three months ago I did the same thing to my left ankle playing roller hockey. Now I wouldn't take "your fine" for an answer and asked my Dr. for a referral to a specialist. This guy new right away what it was. He said MRI's ect. are great technology but sometimes you have to listen to the patient. I'm having the right one operated on in a few weeks and the left one will be done next year.Hope that helps. If you need the name of the operation message back and I will find out for you, I've forgotten the name of it...lol
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies Flag this Response
  • ok so my ankes have been popping like that to i mean its driving me nuts but it hurts when it pops and i dont know what to do can you or anyone help pleaseHi. I know this is a late reply. If you do see this, I have the same problem. I injured my right ankle playing ice hockey 4 years ago and saw 4 or 5 different doctors about the ligament "snapping" over my ankle bone. After x-rays, ultra sounds and a MRI, I was told there was nothing wrong with it. Very frustrating!! Well, three months ago I did the same thing to my left ankle playing roller hockey. Now I wouldn't take "your fine" for an answer and asked my Dr. for a referral to a specialist. This guy new right away what it was. He said MRI's ect. are great technology but sometimes you have to listen to the patient. I'm having the right one operated on in a few weeks and the left one will be done next year.Hope that helps. If you need the name of the operation message back and I will find out for you, I've forgotten the name of it...lol
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies Flag this Response
  • Hello, everyoneMy ankle popping is not relentless but you all seem so knowledgeable that I thought it would silly not to ask your opinions, please. I dislocated my left ankle 3 years ago and it was very stiff for a long time until I started taking an herbal tincture in an attempt to repair the cartilage and dissolve the calcium cysts. My ankle is pretty deformed but it recently started "popping" where previously it always felt as though it needed to pop but I couldn't get it to do so. Does anyone think this could be an increase in synovial fluid or some sort of change and some return to a healthy joint?Thank you all and good luck with your journeys xPS The herbal tincture is from a company called Cortesia and they are very helpful with any queries or questions.
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies Flag this Response
  • HImy ankles have been popping for years now and i know that is normal. but now it has been more and more popping. for example (the popping also is really only in my left foot) every time i go down the stairs you hear a pop for every step on my left foot, every time i get up from siting on the floor and my friend noticed it also and thought it was weird, it pops when ever i stretch my foot. also my foot bends more then normal. i tried bending my right foot and it bends only a tinny bit but with my left foot it bends flat that my ankle it almost touching the ground. i do know that is not normal tho. what do you guys think?
    MatyNapier 1 Replies
    • November 14, 2013
    • 06:04 AM
    • 0
    Flag this Response
  • As a long time sufferer of ankle popping and wrist popping. I say sufferer but in truth there is no pain. The suffering is limited to some build up of pressure and mild discomfort no more than a tight pair of socks. This disappears when the ankle pops and full range of motion is granted. It happen for me most frequently in the AM as I get out of bed, where upon I hobble around the bed with my inflexible pressure filled ankles lean on them slightly and they pop, there is a mild feeling of relief, (or a tickle as the OP put it) and the ankle ( or wrist) is back to normal. occasionally the pressure builds if my joints are immobile for some time, where they make a mild pop and all iss good. Untill last week:I got up and as usual my ankles were stiff, as I walked to the shower the right ankle popped and was fine, the left didn't. The feeling of pressure was there, but as I flexed the ankle there was no pop, instead it hurt. And still hurts, the ankle is not swolen and I have received no injury. To explain the popping I usually say it is like kneading dough, there is some build up of bubbles, and when they are popped and squeezed out they dough becomes more supple. In my case now, the last bubble isnt popping. the pressure go and there is no suppleness in the ankle. It still gets other bubbles building up overnight, which still pop as usual, the only thing is that one bubble wont go. Im wondering if anyone else has experienced the case where their ankles don't pop. The only information I can find is people questioning if the popping is ok, but im asking what if they don't pop what can I do?Ive had the ankle in a brace for a few days and tried to rest it, used deep heat and freeze creams, tried to massage. but no change. I have a standing appointment with a chiropractor next week and I will bring it up there. Im wondering if I should move the date of the appointment or go see an MD.
    thegreatiam 0 Replies
    • January 7, 2014
    • 00:58 PM
    • 0
    Flag this Response
  • Anyone has a cure for the earache I get from my wife telling me to stop my ankles cracking?! Doesn't bother me in the slightest =]
    Trader449 1 Replies Flag this Response
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