Synovitis of the elbow joint is inflammation of the synovial membrane which surrounds the joint becomes inflamed.
Symptoms of synovitis
Symptoms include pain and swelling with stiffness in the joint. There will be an increased skin temperature and redness over the area. When a patient presents with suspected synovitis, they may be referred for scans such as an MRI, and fluid may be taken from the knee and sent for testing.
Synovitis occurs when the synovial membrane which lines and lubricates the joint, becomes inflamed. Synovitis may be caused by another condition, such as rheumatoid arthritis or it may develop on its own.
All of the large joints in the body (such as the knee, hip and shoulder) are synovial joints. These joints are surrounded by a synovial membrane which encapsulates the joint and lubricates it by secreting synovial fluid. This lining can become inflamed, causing pain and stiffness in the joint.
Synovitis is usually a secondary condition, caused by another ailment, such as arthritis. It may also be caused by an injury to the joint or cancer. For this reason it is important that suspected cases of synovitis are investigated thoroughly.
Treatment for synovitis
Treatment depends on the cause of the synovitis. If it is an injury, then the RICE principle of rest, ice, compression and elevation should be applied and this is usually effective. If the cause is arthritic, then anti-inflammatory medications are usually successful. In cases caused by more serious conditions, treatment of that condition is the primary concern, although arthroscopic surgery may be performed to remove the affected synovial tissue.