Loose Bodies of the Knee

Loose Bodies/Spurs

Loose bodies are fragments of cartilage or bone that freely float inside the knee joint space.  They can be the result of an injury or from generalized wear and tear over time.  Depending on the severity of the condition, there can be one or many loose bodies inside the joint.  They can be stable (they don’t move about inside the joint) or unstable (they float through the inside of the joint) which can cause pain or loss of motion.  Bone spurs are bony overgrowths that occur around the joint (i.e., at the end of the thigh bone or top of the shin bone) and are in response to abnormal stresses placed across that area.  These are most commonly seen in patients with degenerative joint disease (DJD or arthritis).

Symptoms

Bone spurs in the knee can often make it painful to extend and bend your leg.  The bony growths can get in the way of bones and tendons that keep your knee operating smoothly.

Diagnosis

If your bones spurs cause pain and/or swelling of your knee joint, or if you are having difficulty moving your knee, a consultation with Dr. LaReau is the appropriate next step.

Dr. LaReau will perform a thorough examination to evaluate and determine the extent of your injuries and conduct a complete review of your medical history. He may also choose to utilize diagnostic tools such as an MRI, X-ray or CT scan to confirm the extent of your condition.

Treatment

Like any injury, the goal of treating an acetabulum fracture is to enable the patient to return to their day-to-day activities. The surgery to treat a loose body can be performed arthroscopically.

Surgery

Typically, Dr. LaReau will schedule surgical management of the loose bodies if they fail to resolve during conservative treatment programs.  When the loose bodies are unstable or causing decreased function and pain, they can be surgically removed.  Dr. LaReau can elect to remove these fragments by utilizing minimally invasive surgery such as Arthroscopy surgery.  During this procedure Dr. LaReau can identify the fragments through a small camera and remove them utilizing specialized instruments.  Additional measures to smooth out rought edges of the cartilage may also be included.  If the patient has several loose bodies and arthritis, these conditions are usually the result of severe degeneration of the knee and are usually addressed during a total knee replacement surgery.

Recovery
If Dr. LaReau elects to perform surgery, he will prescribe a physical therapy program to strengthen your knee and help you to regain normal daily activities.