Definition of crepitus in English:



mass nounMedicine
  • 1A grating sound or sensation produced by friction between bone and cartilage or the fractured parts of a bone.

    • ‘Findings on physical examination include decreased range of motion, crepitus, a mild joint effusion, and palpable osteophytic changes at the knee joint.’
    • ‘The patella and its supporting structures, bilateral joint lines and collateral ligaments are palpated for tenderness, crepitus and localized swelling.’
    • ‘Palpation of the nasal structures should be done to elicit any crepitus, indentation, or irregularity of the nasal bone.’
    • ‘Physical examination frequently reveals crepitus at the fracture site.’
    • ‘The knee often clicks as it moves through its range of movement and usually the patient feels and hears grating or crepitus under their kneecap.’
    1. 1.1 The production of crepitations in the lungs; rale.
      • ‘Palpate the chest for subcutaneous emphysema and crepitus, and percuss for dullness, an indication of consolidations or effusions.’
      • ‘The presence of crepitus indicates subcutaneous emphysema.’
      • ‘Subcutaneous emphysema can be diagnosed by the presence of crunching sounds coinciding with the heart rate, crepitus when palpating the overlying skin, or swelling of the face and neck.’
      • ‘Some had opportunities to palpate subcutaneous crepitus, others could see effects and treatment of respiratory/metabolic acid-base imbalances.’


Early 19th century: from Latin, from crepare ‘rattle’.