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They are described as fragments of tissue or cartilage that “float” into the hip joint and cause serious problems when they are found at the wrong point. Loose bodies, as they are referred to in medical terminology, usually derive from injuries or conditions that damage the joints. Osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, tuberculosis, benign synovial tumours, fractures, broken or cracked bones, severe injuries, or bone inflammation are considered as the “suspects”.
They are located in the hip, mainly where the round head of the femur fits into the acetabulum. As they enter the gaps that the joint bones leave, they block movement and cause discomfort and pain. Although, under normal circumstances, the best candidates for joints with loose bodies are older people (their bones are more severely damaged, while they are likely to suffer from osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis), however, young athletes also have a high chance of developing loose bodies, because of their intense training and frequent injuries.

Since it is a condition associated with injuries and joint problems, the orthopaedist should determine not only where the loose bodies are found, but also where they derived from. Hip arthroscopy is a surgical procedure used for diagnostic purposes, as the camera (arthroscope) which is inserted through small incisions, can offer the surgeon a clear picture of the joint.
Whether a patient shall be brought to the operating room depends on their history, age and activity level. It is usually chosen as a solution for people who have persisting painful symptoms, but also for those who have an extremely demanding daily routine, such as athletes and manual workers.

During arthroscopy, the loose bodies are easily removed from the hip joint, and concomitant lesions can be repaired, at the same time. If it is about a young athlete who, after an acute injury, has had a cartilage or osteochondral fragment cut off, then it is possible to fix it - such injuries usually occur after a hip dislocation.

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