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Should Loose Bodies in Knee be Removed: What to Know


There is a lot of debate surrounding the topic of whether or not loose bodies in knees should be removed. Some people believe that they should be left in place, as they may prove to be more dangerous to remove than keep in place. Others believe that they should be removed, as they can cause knee pain and inflammation.

So, who is right? Should loose bodies in knee be removed?

In this blog post, we will take a look at both sides of the argument and try to come to a conclusion.

What are Loose Bodies in Knee Joint

Loose bodies in the knees can be a painful and debilitating condition. Articular cartilage is a type of tissue that covers the ends of bones, helping to improve joint function and prevent wear and tear. However, this cartilage can sometimes break away from the bone, forming large or small loose bodies.

These loose bodies can then float around in the knee joint space, causing pain and inflammation. In some cases, large loose bodies may also block joint movement, making it difficult to walk or even stand.

Loose bodies in the knee can occur for a variety of reasons, but the most common cause is rheumatoid arthritis. In rheumatoid arthritis, the body’s immune system attacks the lining of the joints, causing inflammation and cartilage damage. They can also occur in healthy individuals as a result of trauma or overuse.

If you suspect that you have loose bodies in your knee, it is important to see a doctor for diagnosis, treatment, and surgery of choice if it becomes severe.

Candidate for Removal of Loose Bodies

There are a few reasons why a surgeon might recommend removing loose bodies from the knee.

The first reason is if the loose bodies are causing pain or blocking joint movement.

Another reason to remove loose bodies is if they are large in size and there is a risk of them breaking off and causing further damage to the knee joint.

Surgeons will also usually recommend removal if the loose bodies are causing inflammation or swelling in the knee.

Finally, loose bodies may also be removed if they are preventing the individual from participating in activities or exercises that they enjoy.

If a loose body is suspected, an magnetic resonance (MRI scan) or CT scan may be ordered to confirm the diagnosis. Once a diagnosis has been made, the next step is to determine whether or not surgical removal is warranted.

In general, surgery is only considered for patients who have persistent symptoms despite conservative treatment measures. For such cases, having a surgical procedure makes a significant difference in their function and quality of life.


Arthroscopic Loose Body Removal

An arthroscopic procedure is a minimally invasive procedure used to treat joint damage. This surgical procedure is performed using a suction tip ( a special instrument) which is a surgical instrument that is inserted through small incisions in the skin.

Once the suction tip is in place, the orthopedic surgeon will use a small needle to remove loose bodies from the joint. In some cases, a mechanical burr may be used to remove larger pieces of debris.

Recovery from arthroscopic surgery is typically quick, with most patients able to return to their normal activities within a few days. And to add, arthroscopic surgery offers a number of benefits over traditional open surgery, including less pain, reduced risk of infection, and quicker healing time.

What to Expect After Knee Arthroscopy for Loose Body Removal

After an open arthrotomy, there are several non-surgical treatment options you should do to speed up your recovery process.

Go to Physical Therapy

After having knee arthroscopy for loose body removal, physical therapy and a structured rehabilitation program are often recommended as the best way to find pain relief and improve range of motion. PT can also help prevent scar tissue from forming around the joint.

Following surgery, the patient will usually be given a home rehabilitation program to help regain strength and normal function in the affected knee.

While some soreness and stiffness are normal after surgery, pain should gradually improve with each PT session. The physical therapist will likely start with simple exercises to increase your range of motion and then progress to more challenging activities as you heal.

They may also use modalities such as heat or ice to help reduce pain and inflammation. It’s important to follow your therapist’s instructions, complete your home exercises, and attend all scheduled appointments to ensure the best possible outcome.


Take Anti-inflammatory Medications

Although the majority of patients experience significant relief after surgery, it is important to be aware of the potential risks and side effects. One of the most common complications is the development of inflammation, which can often be treated with anti-inflammatory medications.

This inflammation can cause pain, discomfort, and swelling throughout the associated joint so it is important that you ensure to follow the medication regimen provided by your surgeon and general practitioner.

Consult Your Doctor for Loose Body Removal

If you’re experiencing symptoms of loose body removal, it’s important to consult your doctor. While the condition is relatively common and often benign, there can be fewer complications.

Through a medical evaluation, your doctor can determine the cause of your symptoms and rule out any serious conditions.

If you’re diagnosed with a loose body and require a loose body removal, there are treatment options available. Also, in less severe cases, it may resolve on its own without any intervention.

However, if your symptoms are persistent or severe, your doctor may recommend surgery. With advances in medical research, the outlook for patients with this condition is generally very good.

So if you’re experiencing symptoms, don’t hesitate to reach out to your doctor—you can be hopeful for a positive outcome.