Re: Knee clicking/popping/cracking??
Hi there Uconn21,
First of all, you probably are overdoing things with all the daily exercise and not giving your knees a chance to rest! That being said, since you are experiencing the pain, clicking and feeling of instability, it sounds like you "may" have torn the medial meniscus and/or your ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) in either one or both knees! If it feels like it's rubbing as if bone on bone, then you need to see an Orthopedic surgeon ASAP to diagnose your problems. If you "did" tear anything in either knee, you will probably need arthroscopic surgery to repair the damage. Recovery can take up to 3 months or more.
Until you do see an Ortho surgeon, I would stop the intense workouts completely (or at least dial back on some parts of your routine). If you can take any of the over the counter NSAIDS like Aleve for the pain, do so. Also, make sure to ice the knees after your workouts and keep the knees elevated as much as possible at home. That will cut down on the inflammation you're most likely experiencing.
If you don't have an Ortho surgeon, call your nearest Univ. Medical Center and ask for at least two names of Orthopedic surgeons who have at least ten years experience and whose primary subspecialty is the knees and hips! You're too young for a total knee replacement, but you probably will do okay for many years if you have to have arthroscopic repair. (Most Ortho surgeons usually will not do a knee replacement until the patient is in their early 50s or they develop severe osteoarthritis in their 40s that causes the cartilage to totally wear away and you have the pain of bone on bone in the knee.) I was just such a patient. I'm in my late 50s and developed "end-stage" osteoarthritis in both knees by the end of 2010 and my surgeon had no choice but to give me knee replacements a year apart. (right knee TKR - 4/5/11 and left knee TKR - 3/23/12) Everything went very well, he did an awesome job both surgeries and I am now all healed and walking normally, and balanced, without pain, for the first time in seven years! Going through the surgeries and rehab was definitely worth it for me!
Good luck and keep me posted as to when you do get to an Ortho surgeon and find out what is wrong and what the treatment plan will be.
Hope this helps!