Synergy Health Partners

Loose Body in the Knee Joint

A loose body in the knee joint refers to a small fragment of bone or cartilage that has broken off and is floating within the joint space. This condition can cause discomfort, pain, and mechanical symptoms like locking or catching of the knee. Loose bodies can result from injuries, degenerative joint diseases like osteoarthritis, or other conditions that damage the joint’s structure.


Common symptoms of a loose body in the knee joint include intermittent pain, swelling, and a sensation of something moving within the joint. Patients may experience episodes of the knee locking or catching, where the joint suddenly becomes stuck in a position. This can lead to difficulty in fully extending or bending the knee. In some cases, patients may also feel instability or weakness in the knee.

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Diagnosis typically involves a physical examination and imaging studies, such as X-rays, MRI, or CT scans, to identify the presence and location of loose bodies within the knee joint. Management depends on the severity of symptoms and the impact on joint function. In mild cases, conservative treatments like rest, medications, and physical therapy may suffice. In more severe cases, surgical intervention may be necessary to remove the loose bodies and restore normal knee function. Regular follow-up with a healthcare provider is essential to monitor the condition and prevent complications.