Crepitus Definition

Crepitus is the grinding, crackling, or grating sensation in a joint, commonly accompanied by a cracking sound. Even if the sound is muffled or absent completely, the grinding sensation can be felt. The degeneration of a joint’s cushioning due to arthritis causes the bones to contact each other more and, as such, crepitus is a prominent symptom of osteoarthritis. The joint grinding sensation of crepitus is not a definitive diagnosis of arthritis or joint degeneration, and is only considered significant if it is accompanied by pain or if it affects the joint’s mobility.