Synovectomy is a surgical procedure to remove excessive joint lining (synovium).


Indications for synovectomy

Synovectomy may be indicated when florid overgrowth of synovium tissue occurs, either as a response to some inflammatory trigger like rheumatoid arthritis or when there is abnormal overgrowth of synovial tissue such as in synovial chondromatosis.

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How is synovectomy performed?

Synovectomy may be performed either as an open procedure or arthroscopically (keyhole procedure). An open procedure is chosen if there is a very large amount of tissue to remove and ordinary instruments are used. If arthroscopy is indicated the tissue is usually ablated using a rotating burr or a less damaging radiofrequency wand, which appears to simply melt the tissue.

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Complications of synovectomy

The two main complications are bleeding (haemarthrosis) or thermal damage to the synovium.

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Dr Sheila Strover (Editor)
BSc (Hons), MB BCh, MBA

See biography...