When Is a Synovectomy Necessary?

 When Is a Synovectomy Necessary?

Synovium is the name of the tissue that lines your joints. This tissue is found where joints are present, including your elbows, wrists, and fingers and around some tendons in special areas such as around your wrists and fingers. 

Our expert hand surgeons at The Hand Center may recommend the removal of the synovial tissue when you have synovitis. Synovitis is inflammation of the synovial tissue. In synovitis it thickens and overproduces synovial fluid.  Synovitis can be an attack by immune cells, which can damage the joint cartilage, ligaments and underlying bone. 

In your hands and wrists, synovial fluid buildup may cause pain, tenderness, swelling, and warmth. 

Read on to learn what causes synovitis, and find out who’s a good candidate for a synovectomy. 

Understanding conditions that may prompt a synovectomy 

Conditions that may prompt a synovectomy include:

In the case of arthritis and SLE, your immune synovium mistakenly attacks the healthy cartilage, causing pain, swelling, and inflammation.

If the cause of your synovitis (inflammation of the synovial joint) is immune system dysfunction, several joints throughout your body may be affected. 

In comparison, synovitis caused by trauma and infections is often more localized to just the involved joint. The symptoms improve once the infection is treated or the joint heals. 

When a synovectomy is necessary 

We may recommend a synovectomy when symptoms caused by synovitis do not respond to conventional treatments. You should have your cartilage checked before the removal of the synovial membrane. 

A synovectomy does not always provide permanent relief, because the synovium can grow back following the procedure. But the procedure relieves pain, and it buys you more time in which you may opt for other treatments to prevent the buildup of synovitis. 

If not treated, synovitis can permanently damage your joints or tendons and cause chronic pain and stiffness. 

Patients suffering from autoimmune diseases may benefit from limiting their exposure to immune system disruptors such as tobacco, alcohol, pesticides, insecticides, and PFOA.

Get treatment for your symptoms 

In many cases, injections, physical therapy, and medications are enough to help manage the symptoms of synovitis. But if these conservative measures fail, we may recommend a synovectomy. 

We can remove the affected synovium on an outpatient basis. Your wrist or finger can be back in action in 2 days! Contact us to schedule an appointment to get expert advice on how to manage your symptoms and prevent cartilage damage. We’re located in Glastonbury, Tolland, Hartford, and Bloomfield, Connecticut.

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