Synovitis is the medical term for inflammation of the synovial membrane. This membrane lines joints which possess cavities, known as synovial joints. The condition is usually painful, particularly when the joint is moved. The joint usually swells due to synovial fluid collection.
Synovitis may occur in association with arthritis as well as lupus, gout, and other conditions. Synovitis is more commonly found in rheumatoid arthritis than in other forms of arthritis, and can thus serve as a distinguishing factor, although it is also present in many joints affected with osteoarthritis. Long term occurrence of synovitis can result in degeneration of the joint.
Synovitis causes joint tenderness or pain, swelling and hard lumps, called nodules. When associated with rheumatoid arthritis, swelling is a better indicator than tenderness.
Clinical examination is enough to confirm the existence of synovitis , but one might need to undergo some blood tests and occasionally mri to confirm the cause. Sometimes arthroscopic biopsy is required to confirm and treat the underlying cause.
Surgery is usually required in infective synovitis, pigemented villonodualr synovitis and refractory synovitisit is done with arthroscope ( key hole surgery). Patient is able to walk the very next day.
Recovery generally is good if there is no associated cartilage damage. It requires emphasis on knee bending and full straightening. Weight bearing and walking is generally allowed on day 2 of surgery