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What is Synovectomy?

Synovectomy is an arthroscopic or open procedure in which the synovium, or membrane that lines the joints, is surgically reduced due to an overgrowth.

The synovium can become overgrown or inflamed as a result of Rheumatoid Arthritis or trauma. Inflamed synovium creates an excess of synovial fluid and tissue that can deteriorate joint cartilage, leading to chronic pain that is not easily treated by other procedures.

At HandSport Surgery Institute, surgery is not usually our first option. Depending on the severity of the case, patients who may be candidates for a synovectomy will first go through a series of evaluations and conservative treatments. Your hand specialists will work to diagnose the cause of the damage and discomfort to create a treatment plan aimed at maximizing motion and comfort.

A synovectomy, or reduction of the synovium, is usually performed after a trial of disease-specific medications and steroid injections have failed to improve the condition. Treatment may be coordinated with the patient’s internist or rheumatologist.

When is a Synovectomy Needed?

Some patients with rheumatoid arthritis may need a synovectomy in order to reduce discomfort, maximize motion, and reduce joint and tendon damage as much as possible. It is important to have the cause of your pain, stiffness, and inflammation by a specialized doctor in order to find out whether or not a synovectomy is needed.

In other cases, patients will require a synovectomy following an injury. This usually occurs months to years after an injury damages the joints. An accident can cause arthritis to develop or otherwise damage and inflame the joint so that an overgrowth of the synovium occurs. An MRI is often helpful in preparing a treatment plan.

Conditions that can be Helped by a Synovectomy

Inflammation of the synovium is painful and can occur to patients in any age group. Finding out the specific cause of your condition is key in creating an appropriate treatment plan, which may include more conservative treatments or a synovectomy. This type of inflammation can occur on any joint in the body.

What Does a Synovectomy Entail

A synovectomy is a straightforward procedure in which a skilled hand surgeon, like Dr. Mark Pruzansky or Dr. Jason Pruzansky, will use arthroscopic or open surgical techniques to assess the joint and determine which areas should be reduced.

During the procedure, areas of the synovium that are inflamed and overgrown will be carefully removed, as well as loose joint bodies.

Recovering from a Synovectomy

Patients generally receive NSAIDs, analgesics, occupational and physical therapy to help with the recovery and maximize motion in the joint.

If You Are Experiencing Hand Pain, Please Contact Us

Please contact us as soon as possible to schedule an appointment with our talented team. Joint pain can present in many ways and require specialized treatment. Call Dr. Pruzansky at 212-249-8700 to schedule an appointment, obtain an accurate diagnosis, and start to restore comfort to your hand, wrist, or elbow.

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