Loose Bodies In Hip

What are loose bodies, and how are they treated?

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Loose bodies are painful fragments that can interfere with the movement in your joints.

If you have been experiencing pain in your hip, schedule an appointment with a board-certified orthopedic hip specialist at OrthoNeuro. We will evaluate your unique lifestyle and goals to determine the best treatment for you. Contact one of our many convenient locations throughout Columbus, OH today!

What Are Hip Loose Bodies?

A loose body in the hip signifies loose fragments that have detached from the bone or articular cartilage. These can interfere with the movement of the ball and socket joint in your hip, causing pain and difficulty walking.

Symptoms of a loose body in the hip vary depending on the size of the loose body and where it is located. If you have multiple loose bodies, your symptoms will be increased. The following lists some of the common symptoms of loose bodies in the hip:

  • Sharp pain in the hip, groin or buttock
  • Stiffness or decreased range of motion in the hip joint
  • A popping sensation when moving the hip joint
  • Difficulty walking or standing for long periods of time
  • Swelling and tenderness around the hip joint
  • Visible deformity around the hip joint
  • Audible clicking sound when moving the hip joint

The Causes of Loose Bodies in the Hip

There may be one of several causes to explain why you have a loose body in your hip. Some of the causes may include the following:

  • Osteoarthritis: This occurs when the cartilage that cushions the bones within the joint gradually wears away, resulting in loose bodies.
  • Acetabular labral tear: This is a tear of the cartilage ring around the socket of the hip joint and can contribute to loose bodies.
  • Fracture: A fracture of a bone in the hip area can cause fragments of bone to float freely within the joint and become loose bodies.
  • Avascular necrosis: This is a condition where lack of blood supply to parts of bone causes it to weaken, break down and produce loose particles that enter into the joint space.
  • Post-traumatic arthritis: This is an inflammatory process that occurs after a hip injury that causes pain and instability, leading to loosening or breakdown of part or all of a joint, including the formation of loose bodies.
  • Bone tumors: Abnormal growths in bone may cause pieces to break off and move as loose bodies within a joint.
  • Rheumatoid arthritis: This type of arthritis is caused by inflammation leading to wear and tear on joints, which can produce debris that enters into the joint space as a loose body.

How Are Loose Bodies Diagnosed

  • Loose bodies within the hip can be diagnosed by a doctor through one or more of the following means:

    • Physical examination: Performing certain hip movements can determine the cause of the debris and location of the pain.
    • Arthroscopy: An arthroscopy is an effective diagnostic tool for identifying loose bodies in the hip joint because it provides a direct view of the area and allows physicians to use small instruments to precisely diagnose and remove any foreign objects.
    • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI): An MRI is an effective way to diagnose loose bodies in the hip joint, as it produces detailed images of the soft tissues of the area, allowing for accurate identification and location of potential loose bodies.
    • X-ray: X-rays can be used to identify any calcifications that may be associated with loose bodies, such as bone spurs or ossicles. This is an effective way to diagnose loose bodies in the hip joint, as these points of interest can be easily identified on X-rays.
    • Ultrasound: Ultrasound is an effective method for diagnosing loose bodies in the hip joint because it uses sound waves, allowing physicians to visualize softer tissues within the area, accurately pinpointing any foreign objects.
    • Computed Tomography (CT) Scan: A CT scan is an effective tool for diagnosing loose bodies within the hip joint because it provides a more detailed image compared to regular X-rays, producing accurate slices that allow doctors to better identify any foreign objects present in the joint space.

Treating Loose Bodies in Hip

The most successful way to remove loose bodies is through hip arthroscopy. The following step-by-step procedure explains how your surgeon may remove loose bodies from your hip using arthroscopic surgery:

  1. Anesthesia will be administered, and you will be positioned on your side or in a lithotomy position.
  2. An incision will be made along the anterolateral aspect of your hip in order to gain access to the joint space.
  3. Loose bodies will be located using an arthroscope and a probe, if necessary.
  4. The surgeon will remove loose bodies from the joint space with small grasping forceps or a shaver.
  5. Once all loose bodies have been removed, any remaining debris will be flushed out with a sterile saline solution and then suctioned from the joint space.
  6. The incision site will then be closed with sutures and covered with sterile dressings.

Recovery From Hip Arthroscopy Surgery

After the surgical procedure of removing loose bodies, you will likely require physical therapy to help restore range of motion and strength.

Recovery time depends on the individual and the extent of their injury; however, it is typically about four to six weeks. During this recovery period, you will be encouraged to avoid strenuous activities and follow your doctor’s instructions carefully in order to ensure a safe and successful return to normal activity levels.

Make an Appointment with an OrthoNeuro Hip Specialist Today!

If you have been experiencing hip pain, schedule an appointment with a loose bodies specialist at OrthoNeuro. We will evaluate your situation and goals to determine if this minimally invasive treatment would be best for you. Contact one of our many convenient locations throughout Columbus, OH today!

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