Loose Bodies in the Knee

Typical Symptoms

Loose bodies in the knee typically cause a sharp pain when it contacts or is compressed in the knee joint and there can be swelling, instability and even locking of the knee.

What causes it?

Loose bodies can arise from different areas in the knee, depending on the injury sustained. It could be from the cartilage, the meniscus, a fragment of bone or from something external that has penetrated the knee.

How can I help myself?

It important to think how the injury came about as it will be helpful to understand the mechanism. If there is considerable pain, swelling or locking, offloading with crutches and a brace can help and also measures such as PRICE can help to reduce swelling. Pain killers can make the symptoms more tolerable.

When to seek help?

If you are having significant symptoms, particularly locking or instability, it is important that you are assessed as soon as possible, particularly if there is limited movement and instability.

What are the treatment options?

Once your clinician assesses you with a thorough history and examination, they may undertake an X-ray to look for a fracture or a bony fragment in the knee. In conjunction with a referral to physiotherapy for early rehabilitation, they may organise an MRI to define the injury further before requesting for a surgical opinion.