bursal synovitis


Synovitis is the medical term for inflammation of a synovial membrane, which line those joints which possess cavities, namely synovial joints. The condition is usually painful, particularly when the joint is moved. The joint usually swells due to fluid collection.

Synovitis is a risk in several forms of arthritis as well as rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, gout, and other conditions. Synovitis is one part of distinguishing rheumatoid arthritis from other forms of arthritis, although it can be found mildly in Osteoarthritis. Long term occurrence of synovitis can result in degeneration of the joint.

Physical Exam Findings

"Joint tenderness is not as reliable or accurate as joint swelling in the assessment of synovitis. Visual inspection alone may be the simplest and most reliable technique for assessing synovitis in Rheumatoid Arthritis."


Symptoms of synovitis can be treated by a doctor with anti-inflammatory drugs such as NSAIDs. Specific treatment depends on the determining cause of the synovitis.

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