Font Size
A
A
A

Loose Body in a Joint


Loose Body in a Joint

A loose body is a free-floating piece of bone, cartilage, or a foreign object in a joint. The knee is the most common site for loose bodies.

Causes of loose bodies include:

  • Degenerative joint disease (osteoarthritis).
  • A chip fracture.
  • A torn piece of the cartilage.
  • An object, such as a dislodged piece of hardware from a previous surgery or a foreign object from a penetrating injury.
  • Inflammation or decreased blood supply (avascular necrosis) to the bone and cartilage, which may cause the bone to separate from the cartilage (osteochondritis dissecans).

Symptoms of a loose body in the knee joint may include:

  • Locking of the knee that comes and goes.
  • Pain and swelling of the knee that comes and goes.
  • Being able to feel the loose body by touching the knee.
  • Ongoing (chronic) stiffness.

Your doctor may order a test, such as an X-ray, ultrasound, CT scan, or MRI, to help find a loose body. Surgery to remove the loose body or repair the kneecap may be needed if a loose body is causing symptoms.

Credits

ByHealthwise Staff
Primary Medical ReviewerWilliam H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine
Specialist Medical ReviewerDavid Messenger, MD
Last RevisedAugust 5, 2011

eMedicineHealth Medical Reference from Healthwise

This information does not replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information. Your use of this information means that you agree to the Terms of Use. How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.

To learn more visit Healthwise.org

© 1995-2012 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.






Medical Dictionary