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Authors

John Gaetano

Abstract

The ‘old wives tale’ that habitual knuckle cracking leads to arthritis may now be considered myth. However, an investigation into the cause of the cracking sound and other long-term effects may not be as trivial. The following discussion presents two popular theories for the cause of the crack, and asks questions that may support or challenge either theory. In addition, several clinical trials are examined for evidence of the long-term sequelae. While this topic may not receive much attention (or funding dollars), it remains valid, as patients still commonly inquire about this habit and its consequences.

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