[″ + Gr. itis, inflammation]
Inflammation of a synovial membrane. Inflammation may be the result of an aseptic wound, rheumatologic diseases, infections, a subcutaneous injury (contusion or sprain), irritation produced by damaged cartilage, overuse, or trauma.
SYN: SEE: osteosynovitis
The joint is painful, much more so on motion, esp. at night. It is swollen and tense. The condition may fluctuate. In synovitis of the knee, the patella is floated up from the condyles, and it can be readily depressed, to rise again when pressure is taken off. The part is never in full extension, as this increases the pain. Skin, which is very sensitive to pressure only at certain points, is neither thickened nor reddened. After a few days, when pain lessens and swelling diminishes as the effusion and extravasated blood are absorbed, the limb returns to its natural position, and recovery follows.
The condition is managed symptomatically, restricting or avoiding range of motion that produces pain. Therapeutic treatments include cold, heat, ultrasound, and medications to reduce inflammation. Rehabilitation includes strengthening, flexibility, and neuromuscular regimens.
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