Loose bodies in the knee joint are small fragments of cartilage or bone that move freely around the knee in joint fluid (synovium). They can vary in size from a few millimeters to a few centimeters. When caught in extension or flexion movements, they can hinder joint movement and eventually lead to damage of the articular cartilage, causing osteoarthritis.
Injuries to the cartilage from fractures, trauma, bone and cartilage inflammation or benign tumors can cause loose bodies. It its also commonly found in individuals who participate in sports and those who are diagnosed with osteoarthritis or tuberculosis.
Symptoms of loose bodies in the knee include:
- Pain and swelling
- A locking or catching of the knee joint
- The feeling of something moving in the knee
- Knee locking as though something is blocking it
OKC Orthopedics, Sports & Pain Medicine is committed to helping patients with loose bodies return to the highest level of activity possible. It is very important to remove loose bodies early to avoid future cartilage damage.
An exemption is necessary to identify and diagnose loose bodies. There are limited non-surgical options for the treatment and management of loose bodies, therefore arthroscopic surgery is almost always suggested. Our orthopedic surgeons are experts in knee arthroscopy, a minimally invasive procedure in which small instruments and a thin, flexible medical device with a camera pass through an incision the size of a small Band-Aid. After surgery, our physical therapists guide each patient through a personalized rehabilitation program to restore strength and mobility.