A few months ago my five-year-old son’s knees began to make a noise when he walks. He seems to not notice it, but I hear clicks. What could be wrong? Is he too young to have x-rays?
A. Our muscles attach to bone by tough cords or bands of fibrous tissue called tendons. An audible clicking noise is usually a tendon or ligament that pops over a prominent area of the bone. Usually, it’s not related to any significant disease or illness. While there are a number of conditions that can have clicking as a sign, it is reassuring that there is no pain and you do not describe any change in his gait, redness or swelling of the knees. Although both x-rays and ultrasounds are useful diagnostic aids, I would suggest that you first see your family doctor and have him examine your son’s knee to rule out any local problems.
Published in Fall 2009