Crepitus: A clinical sign in medicine that is characterized by a peculiar crackling, crinkly, or grating feeling or sound under the skin, around the lungs, or in the joints. Crepitus in soft tissues is often due to gas, most often air, that has penetrated and infiltrated an area where it should not normally be (for example, in the soft tissues beneath the skin). Crepitus in a joint can indicate cartilage wear in the joint space.
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Last Editorial Review: 5/13/2016