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Hi there. Pieces of tendon do not snap off, so you do not need to worry about that. Clicking is usually the sound caused by a tendon slipping over the edge of a bone or slipping temporarily out of a groove in the bone. This would not be unusual in a case like yours in which there is damage to the tendon as well as mechanical changes stemming from your knee replacement surgery.
Standing and walking 12 hours a day is likely making your tendinitis worse, or at least interfering with its ability to heal. This is especially true if you are walking barefoot or in flats. Having a slight lift in the heel helps to shorten and rest the tendon and tends to make it feel better. Conversely, flat shoes tend to cause the tendon to stretch more with every step, leading to more irritation, inflammation and micro-tears.
One approach would be to work with a physical therapist on rehabing the knee, strengthening your quads and keeping your calves gently stretched. While this is occurring, you should also consider seeing a podiatrist who can focus on how your feet and footwear may be adding to the problem. For instance, if you have shallow arches or flat feet (i.e. pes planus) this can greatly add to the "wringing" motion of the tendon during ambulation. You might need arch supports...in addition, of course, to a heel lift that keeps the tendon shortened.
Does this make sense? Let me know if you have any follow up questions.
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