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What Is Synovitis and How Is It Treated?

Female athlete suffering from pain in leg while exercising

Joint pain can be debilitating if it is bad enough. Depending on the cause of the joint pain, those afflicted may experience mobility issues, which may affect their ability to complete the simplest of daily tasks.

If you experience repeated joint bleeds, it can lead to other issues, as well. Untreated or poorly treated joint bleeds can lead to a condition known as synovitis.

Today, we will discuss Synovitis, and share the information you need to help you understand the condition, its signs and symptoms, and your treatment options.

What is Synovitis?

Synovitis is a condition that involves inflammation of the tissues that line certain joints: knees, ankles, wrists, elbows, feet, and shoulders. It is often associated with specific diseases and conditions, as outlined below. Synovitis typically occurs in those who have repeated joint bleeds that aren’t treated correctly or early enough.

What Are the Signs and Symptoms of Synovitis?

If you’re concerned you may have synovitis, there are several signs and symptoms you should watch for:

  • Swollen joints
  • Spongy joints
  • Redness
  • Joint bleeds more than three times per month.
  • Warm joints
  • Chronic joint pain
  • Degenerative joint changes

Causes of Synovitis

Several conditions make you more susceptible to developing synovitis. Those most vulnerable to developing synovitis are those with rheumatoid arthritis, juvenile arthritis, lupus, and psoriatic arthritis. In addition, synovitis is often associated with rheumatic fever, tuberculosis, trauma, and gout.

How to Diagnose Synovitis

You must visit a rheumatologist who can rule out any other health issues that may cause similar symptoms. Those other concerns include fractures and infections. The surgeon who inspects your joints may take a sample to have them analyzed to see if they contain any inflammatory cells.

In addition, your doctor may order x-rays or other advanced imaging tests to confirm a diagnosis.

Synovitis Prevention

There are several ways that you may be able to prevent synovial cysts.

  • Treat joint pain as quickly as possible
  • Contact your local hemophilia treatment center if your joints continue to experience bleeds
  • Exercise regularly
  • Have regular appointments at your local hemophilia treatment center and with your orthopedist (joint doctor)

What Are the Treatments for Synovitis?

There are multiple ways to treat synovitis, from minor treatment options to major ones. The treatment needed varies depending on the severity of the issue and whether or not the patient’s body responds to medicines prescribed to treat the condition. The different treatment options include the following:

  • Rest, ice, and mobilization of the joints.
  • Take NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) to manage pain and swelling. NSAIDs include ibuprofen, naproxen, high-dose aspirin, etc.
  • Factor Treatment:  Regular treatments with a clotting factor helps prevent further joint bleeds. The factor helps the synovial membrane return to its normal state. The synovial membrane is critical because it provides lubrication to your joints, as well as reduces friction.
  • Oral Steroids: Oral steroids reduce inflammation. They are a short-term option that you can take from 1 to 2 weeks. However, they are not prescribed very often because they can cause other problems within the body that could result in other conditions that need treatment.
  • Physical Therapy: Regular physical therapy appointments can help reduce pain, strengthen your joints and muscles, and prevent any loss of motion in the joints affected.
  • Arthroscopic Synovectomy: This type of surgery involves removing the inflamed part of the synovial membrane. However, the downside is that it does not improve your range of motion. What it does do is reduce any further bleeding and joint destruction.
  • Radionuclide Synovectomy: This treatment is minimally invasive and involves injecting a radioactive substance directly into the afflicted joints. The low level of radiation injected helps melt away the inflamed synovium.

Let Thunder Basin Orthopaedics Help You Get Back In The Game

If you have been diagnosed with synovitis or suspect you may have it, Thunder Basin Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine is here to help. We can provide you with appropriate treatment options that best suit your needs and accommodate your schedule.

With offices conveniently located in Douglas and Gillette, the Thunder Basin Orthopaedics team is ready to help you get back in the game. Our surgeons are well-experienced and specialize in treating various orthopaedic injuries, including sports injuries and chronic joint problems.

Our expert staff and experienced surgeons offer the best possible treatment and utmost care to each individual. Make an appointment or contact Thunder Basin Orthopaedics today!