What is Synovitis?
The synovial membrane is a lining of connective tissue that occurs in the cavities of joints, tendon sheaths and bursae. Our knees, hips, wrists, shoulders and ankle joints have synovial membrane. This membrane also generates synovial fluid and together they help in lubricating joints. When the synovial membrane gets inflamed the condition is known as synovitis. When the membrane also known as synovium is inflamed, it produces excess fluid which collects in a sac and causes the joint to swell.
Who can get affected by synovitis?
Transient synovitis also known as toxic synovitis generally affects children between 3-10 years old. Sudden hip pain can result causing limping or difficulty walking. However this generally clears up with a short time with rest and anti-inflammatory medications. If it takes longer then it could be a more serious condition known as septic arthritis where fluid will have to be drained and intravenous anti-biotics given.
People with rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, juvenile arthritis, lupus and gout also tend to have synovitis.
What are the symptoms of Synovitis?
- Joints will be swollen and puffy
- Joints will feel warm
- Joints will be painful when moved
- If synovitis is present for many years it can lead to chronic pain and bone and cartilage degeneration
Analysing the synovial fluid aspirated from a joint can confirm or rule out various joint diseases such as traumatic arthritis, osteoarthritis, gout, and rheumatoid arthritis.
What causes synovitis?
Synovitis can be caused by injury or trauma to the joint and it can also be caused by diseases such as Rheumatoid disease, juvenile arthritis, lupus, gout, psoriatic arthritis, tuberculosis, Jacobs arthropathy-camptodactyly syndrome, SAPHO syndrome, Pigmented villonodular synovitis, Haemophilia type A and Systemic sclerosis.