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Loose Bone or Cartilage within the Knee

Loose Bone or Cartilage within the Knee


Loose pieces of bone or cartilage, called "joint mice" or "loose bodies," may float suspended in the knee′s synovial fluid without causing discomfort until they grow larger.

Pieces of bone or cartilage sometimes float suspended within the knee′s natural fluid, only causing pain when they grow large. They can cause knees to lock or grind on movement.


Beginning small and producing only a simple muted snap or crackle, joint mice cause trouble only when they interfere with normal motion, resulting in grinding or locking of the knee.


X-ray films or magnetic resonance imaging films are the best means of visualizing joint mice from torn cartilage. Arthroscopic removal of the loose body is the typical solution, but sometimes open, or traditional, surgery is required. Recovery following arthroscopic removal lasts about three weeks.

This is a section from Dr. Jack E, Jensen′s book The One Stop Knee Shop. Read the next section Local Arthritis.

  • Athletic Orthopedics
    & Knee Center
    9180 Katy Freeway
    Suite 200
    Houston, TX 77055




    Monday – Friday: 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM
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