Hip Loose Bodies
The hip is a ball and socket joint where the ball is the head of the thigh bone, which fits securely into its socket called the acetabulum. With the help of the labrum, cartilage lining the socket deepens the joint to create a suction seal which keeps the protective lubricant fluid within the joint. The ball and socket are both lined with articular cartilage which cushions the bones, reduces friction, allows the smooth movement of the joint and protects the bones from rubbing together.
Loose bodies are small fragments of articular cartilage or bone that break off in the joint and cause irritation, pain, stiffness, and reduced range of motion.
Loose bodies are caused by hip injuries from a fall, auto accident, sport related injury, fractures, and even wear & tear arthritis. Other conditions such as hip impingement, hip dysplasia, avascular necrosis and hip dislocation can lead to labral tears and bone spurs which can in turn lead to lose bodies within the joint.
- Pain and irritation in the hip joint
- Periodic sensation of clicking, catching, grinding, and locking
- Sense of instability
- Reduced range of motion
The expert team at LALL Orthopedics+ will review your medical history including any trauma to the hip joint. They will conduct a comprehensive physical exam with range of motion testing to elicit symptoms. Imaging studies are important to visualize the hip and include studies such as X-rays to evaluate the bones and MRI to evaluate the soft tissues inside the joint. Diagnostic injections may be advised to confirm the presence of hip pain stemming from loose bodies.
Non-surgical conservative measures include anti-inflammatory medications, icing, physical therapy, and cutting-edge regenerative medicine techniques such as Stem-Cell Therapy and Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) injections to decrease pain and inflammation within the joint. Should symptoms persist following conservative management, minimally invasive arthroscopic surgical treatment may be indicated to remove the loose bodies.
Hip arthroscopy is a minimally invasive surgical procedure to examine the interior of a joint using a small 4-millimeter fiberoptic camera that projects the images onto a monitor which allows a surgeon to see inside the joint so they can diagnose and treat the injury. Given its level of difficulty and extremely steep learning curve, hip arthroscopy is a highly specialized procedure that should only be performed by experts in the field. As a tertiary referral center, the team at LALL Orthopedics+ tackle some of the world’s most complex hip cases at the highest volume in the medical literature.
Hip arthroscopy is performed under general anesthesia as an outpatient procedure and most patients go home within a few hours after surgery. Once the fiberoptic camera is in the joint, tiny tools are used to remove loose bodies and repair the injured joint. Athletes can often return to their sports within a few weeks.
The advantages of arthroscopy include the ability to make an accurate diagnosis and repair damage to the affected area. Arthroscopy benefits include:
- minimal soft tissue trauma and therefore less pain and bleeding
- faster recovery
- reduced scaring
- earlier mobilization to regain pain-free motion and joint mobility through rehabilitation and physical therapy.
Research shows that early movement of the joint promotes healing and leads to better outcomes.
If you have symptoms consistent with loose bodies in your hip, schedule a hip consultation with LALL Orthopedics +. LALL Orthopedics + is led by renowned hip surgeon Dr. Ajay C. Lall. Dr. Lall is a former dual sport NCAA collegiate athlete (football and track & field), American board certified, triple fellowship-trained expert orthopedic surgeon. LALL Orthopedics + specializes in the treatment of loose bodies in the hip.
At a Glance
Ajay C. Lall, MD, MS, FAAOS
- Board Certified – Orthopedic Surgery
- Triple Fellowship Trained
- Performs over 750 Surgeries Per Year
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