RDP Tuesday: crepitus

Crepitus! What a fabulous word!

Creptitus is the grating sound or feeling in a joint with arthritis, or a joint that had surgery after a bad injury, or from broken bones, or from air under the skin. The first and second are more common in my clinic.

I was reviewing a knee xray with a person in clinic and it said that the joint was crepitic.
“Crepitic,” I said, “That’s what I thought when I looked at you: you are crepitic.” My person looked surprised and then realized I was being silly and started laughing. Dictionary.com does not have the word crepitic, but it’s being used anyhow.

Crepitus can be tactile rather than auditory. I place my hand on a knee and have the person flex and extend it fully. I am testing the range of motion but also feeling for crepitus: a grinding or crunching feeling. W!hat sensation or sound do you think resembles crepitus? Crumbling stiff Christmas wrap into a ball to recycle?

I promise not to use medical words too frequently, but hopefully it is ok once in a while! Feedback welcome!

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