Loose Bodies


Loose bodies in the knee joint can be made of cartilage or bone that are free floating in the knee fluid. They may be caused by injury, inflammation, Osteoarthiritis or Synovial chondromatosis (abnormal growth of the synovium)


They can cause symptoms of free-floating loose pieces in the knee and/or locking. This may cause damage to the articular cartilage leading to osteoarthritis.



  1. X-Ray – The loose bodies when bony will show up on an X-Ray.
  2. MRI Scan – These magnetic scans are used for diagnosis of soft tissue, cartilages and bony pathology. They will also help to locate the loose pieces.



Rest, Ice packs, physiotherapy and analgesics may help to reduce the pain and swelling.

Removal of the loose body arthroscopically (keyhole surgery) is the best option. Arthroscopy also helps to evaluate the knee joint and any damage caused to the articular cartilage. Sometimes it may not be possible to remove the loose body if it has moved to the back of the knee where important nerve and vessels are located.

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