Those crackling sounds of knees in the morning may sound scary, but there’s constant noise coming out of moving joints that we just don’t hear. Normal sounds may indicate healthy knees while unusual ones may point to something not quite right. Researchers at Georgia Tech are now investigating a sort of stethoscope for the knees, consisting of microphones and a film-based vibration sensor, stuck to the leg that listen for and interpret the sounds coming from within.
The team has already identified some characteristics of healthy knees compared to injured ones. There’s more consistency in sounds coming from healthy knees, for example.
This research was funded by DARPA, the military’s research funding agency, with the hopes of developing a way to detect injuries in soldiers early before more damage is developed. Moreover, post-op monitoring would be improved if there were a cheap and easy way of assessing progress besides MRI scans.
In the below video provided by Georgia Tech you’ll hear the seemingly violent nature of moving knees, the crepitus of joints: