Loose Bodies

An Overview on Loose Bodies Within the Hip

Loose bodies are small fragments of articular cartilage that break off in the hip joint as a result of a hip injury, such as a fall, automobile accident, or a sports-related injury. Loose bodies can also occur as the result of long-term wear and tear to the hip joint, which is often associated with arthritis. Loose bodies come in all shapes and sizes and cause different symptoms in patients. Loose bodies float around within the hip joint and cause a painful sensation depending upon where the fragments migrate. The sudden, sharp pain can catch patients by surprise, and in some instances, can even cause a patient to become unstable or fall. This is often the result of the loose body temporarily becoming lodged in between the ball and socket. Austin, Texas orthopedic hip specialist, Dr. Jeff Padalecki specializes in loose bodies within the hip and other conditions that cause catching in the hip.

Loose Bodies Symptoms

The primary symptom of a loose body within the hip is sharp pain and a periodic catching sensation.

Loose Bodies Diagnostic Testing

Dr. Padalecki will discuss your personal history and activity background as well as conduct a series of mobility tests. He will most likely order an X-ray or MRI of the hip to locate the loose bodies and determine what the next course of treatment should be. He will always look to see if there are any additional underlying conditions that require treatment.

Loose Bodies Treatment

Surgical

In patients who have symptoms as a result of loose bodies, surgery is usually the recommended course of treatment. If left untreated, these loose fragments in the joint may lead to further deterioration of the articular cartilage. Dr. Padalecki often utilizes an arthroscopic surgical procedure known as a loose body removal/chondroplasty to remove the loose fragments and smooth the damaged cartilage. After surgery, hip pain is dramatically reduced. Dr. Padalecki will also address any associated conditions at the time of surgery.

Post-Op Instructions

Dr. Padalecki will provide a physical therapy program at your first post-op visit following hip surgery. Therapy will focus on slowly returning motion back to the injured hip, followed by a progressive strengthening program to protect the repaired hip.

For more information on loose bodies within the hip, or for additional resources on arthroscopic hip surgery designed to treat catching in the hip, please contact the office of Dr. Jeff Padalecki, hip specialist in Austin, Texas.