General Question

andrew's avatar

What possible joint do I have in my shin?

Asked by andrew (16259points) March 29th, 2008

When I get up in the morning, sometimes there will be a tightness in my shins. If I work my muscles a bit (usually by standing on tip-toe), I’ll hear (and feel) a crack a few inches below my kneecap on the outside-front of my shin—like I’m cracking my knuckles. What gives?

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7 Answers

scamp's avatar

You could be feeling the beginnings of a condition called chondromalacia. I just had surgery to correct mine. Here’s a link to explain what it is.
http://orthopedics.about.com/cs/patelladisorders/a/chondromalacia.htm

If that doesn’t meet your description, check out shin splints: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shin_splints

andrew's avatar

Mmm… neither one of those is really it (though I do have chondromalacia). The “crack” is really much farther down and to the side than the kneecap. It’s right at the top of my Tibialis anterior.

scamp's avatar

I was hoping you wouldn’t say that. How painful is it? My daughter got on her tip toes to reach for something, and snapped her tendon. I hope that’s not about to happen to you. It’s very painful. Only her problem was the tendon in the back of her calf.

Off the top of my head, I’m wondering how your feet hit the ground when you walk. If you have a gait problem, it could cause what you are describing. You might want to try some inserts in your shoes. Spenco makes arch supports that you can find in almost any drugstore. They cost about $30.00. Give them a try, and if they help, you might want to see a podiatrist and get some orthotics made. they are custom molded to your foot, and they slip in your shoe as an insert. They correct a lot of gait disturbances, and could alleviate the problem you are describing.

Here’s another link that might be more helpful: http://www.sportsinjuryclinic.net/cybertherapist/front/lowerleg/inflamtibtensheath.htm

andrew's avatar

Oh, it’s not painful at all. It’s very much akin to the sensation of cracking your neck or your back. It’s been happening to me for over 10 years. I’m just curious as to what makes the sound!

antonina's avatar

It may be the tendon or ligament of one of the muscles on that side of your kneecap that is simply ‘snapping’ over one of the bony knobs for the muscle attachments, some other tendon that is out of alignment, or the edge of your kneecap if it is slightly out of alignment. It is not uncommon for that to happen, and it sometimes does in the hip, shoulder, knee or ankle areas – basically any of the major joints we have! I would guess that is what it is. If you keep your adductors and ITB stretched, that may help. And, a good deep tissue bodyworker may be able to help you get rid of it, if you end up getting tired of the sound sometime down the road…

winblowzxp's avatar

Your shin is comprised of 2 bones: tibia and fibula. I agree that it could be something from either your knee or ankle which is radiating to the spot you feel it.

McBean's avatar

You mean you’ve never heard of a “shin joint”?

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