The best treatment and surgery for the removal of a loose body is decided based on a few important factors, including age, current and past health, the extent of the loose body to be removed, the location of the loose body and any history with other medications and treatments. Loose body removal is done following sports or work injuries that cause small fragments of bone or cartilage to break free and float through the body, catching or locking in the joints.
Loose Body Removal Diagnosis
If a person requires the removal of a loose body, that body can create a feeling of locking in a person’s joint, making it difficult to move or fully extend the joint because of the loose particles. If you have any reason to think you may have a loose body in one of your joints, or have had multiple injuries in the same area, it is important to seek medical attention. To diagnose your condition, your doctor will ask questions regarding your past and current health, as well as perform a physical exam. To determine if you need any procedures for the removal of a loose body, the following exams will be performed:
Nonsurgical Treatment for Loose Body Removal
In most instances, removal of a loose body must be done surgically. However, for less severe cases, some people are able to use physiotherapy and anti-inflammatory painkillers to help with symptoms and to keep the joint flexible and mobile. When a loose body is treated non-surgically, it is important to continue being aware of your symptoms and follow up with your doctor regularly so the condition does not worsen.
Surgery for Loose Body Removal
In most cases, removal of a loose body requires surgery. The aim of loose body removal surgeries is to remove the cartilage or bone that has broken free during injuries, causing the joints to be less mobile and stiffer. The majority of loose body removal procedures are done using one of the following techniques:
Loose Body Removal Research
Many instances of loose body removal are required because of degenerative diseases, such as osteoarthritis. These diseases are oftentimes found in people who use one or more of their joints an extraordinary amount, such as athletes or people whose jobs require extensive lifting, particularly overhead.
Research is now focused on supplements to help prevent these degenerative diseases from occurring or to slow their progression, allowing for better results from non-surgical techniques. The glucosamine supplement in particular is of interest because it is generated naturally in the fluids surrounding the joints. Therefore, it makes sense that taking supplements of this natural substance could help reduce the effects of osteoarthritis and ease pain in the joints.
Studies have shown mixed results in this regard. While many osteoarthritis sufferers have noticed significant pain relief in their joints when taking this supplement, some have not. This is likely due to the extent of the osteoarthritis. Because of this, research continues to try to determine its effectiveness and when and who should consider taking this supplement to prevent degeneration of the joints and formation of loose bodies.
As research on glucosamine and other supplements is ongoing, it is a good idea for your conversation about it with your doctor to be ongoing as well.
The multidisciplinary team of orthopaedic experts at North Shore-LIJ Orthopaedic Institute's Trauma Services in New York performs loose body removal surgery as well as a broad range of nonsurgical and surgical treatments for conditions that affect the bones.