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Loose Body in the Elbow

A 'loose body' of the elbow is a clinical diagnosis.
A displaced fragment of articular cartilage (with or without a bony nucleus) jams the joint and prevents full and painless movement in the joint . This situation is called an 'internal derangement' in the joint.

The patient describes sudden "twinges" , at irregular intervals, together with attacks of sudden fixation of the joint, either in flexion or in extension.

Clinical examination shows:

loose bodies may exist in three different clinical situations:

  • Loose body in adolescence
  • Loose body in a normal joint in adulthood
  • Loose body in an arthrotic joint
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