We often take our knees for granted until we start experiencing knee pain. One common cause of knee pain is a loose body knee. A loose body knee is a condition where small fragments of cartilage or bone float freely in the knee joint causing friction with the surrounding tissues. If left untreated, a loose body knee can cause irreversible damage to the knee joint, leading to chronic knee pain, stiffness, and reduced mobility. This blog post aims to provide a comprehensive guide on what a loose body knee is, its causes, and how it can be treated.
So, what causes a loose body knee? A loose body knee can occur due to an injury, wear and tear, or other underlying medical conditions like osteoarthritis, gout, or rheumatoid arthritis. Injuries like a meniscus tear, ligament sprain, or fracture can cause small fragments of bone or cartilage to detach from the knee joint. As we age, wear and tear on the knee joint can cause small fragments of bone and cartilage to break off, leading to a loose body knee.
A loose body knee can cause varying degrees of knee pain depending on the size and location of the loose body. Patients with a loose body knee may experience sharp, shooting pains, or a dull ache, particularly during physical activity. The knee may also feel stiff, swollen, and tender to the touch.
If you suspect you have a loose body knee, it is essential to seek the advice of a medical professional. A physician will perform a physical examination of the knee and may conduct imaging tests like X-rays, computed tomography, and magnetic resonance imaging to confirm the diagnosis. Once diagnosed, the doctor will develop a treatment plan depending on the size and location of the loose body.
Treatment options for a loose body knee include conservative, minimally invasive, and surgical procedures. Conservative treatments involve rest, ice, compression, and elevation to reduce inflammation and pain. A physician may also prescribe pain medications or recommend physical therapy to strengthen the surrounding tissues and improve range of motion. If conservative treatments fail to provide relief, minimally invasive procedures like arthroscopy or joint aspiration may be recommended. These procedures use a tiny camera to locate and remove the loose body through small incisions.
Surgical treatments may be required for larger or hard-to-reach loose bodies. A knee replacement surgery may be necessary in severe cases where significant damage to the knee joint has occurred. Knee replacement surgery involves removing the damaged joint and replacing it with an artificial joint.
A loose body knee is a painful condition that can impact your quality of life if left untreated. If you suspect you have a loose body knee, it is essential to seek the advice of a medical professional. At POSMC, our team of expert physicians uses the latest techniques, technology, and surgical procedures to treat patients with a loose body knee. Contact us today to schedule an appointment and get back to your active lifestyle.