When joint cartilage breaks down, it firstly softens and then forms a fibrillated appearance, where the white fronds resemble crab meat.
The significance of crabmeat fissuring is that the integrity of the cartilage has been breached, and time will certainly progress the destruction.
To enable surgeons to describe what they see in terms of joint cartilage damage when operating on a knee, a number of classification systems have been developed, the best known of which are -
Crabmeat fissuring is grade II or III of the Outerbridge classification.
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