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What is synovectomy surgery?

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Synovectomy surgery is a procedure that surgeons apply in the removal of synovium, which is a painful, swollen tissue in joint, according to WebMD. Typically, it is an arthroscopic procedure that is applied as a last resort in alleviating pain that results from initial stages of rheumatoid arthritis when medical therapy fails to be effective.

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When performing synovectomy surgery, a surgeon first accesses the swollen joint by dislocating joint structures, including the ligaments, explains WebMD. Once the surgery is over, the doctor places a cast around the joint to prevent the joint from moving. Typically, the movement of the joint, which should be done according to the instructions of a physiotherapist, begins one to two days following the procedure to enhance recovery. However, the technique that the surgeon applies in the removal of the synovium determines the recovery period. The doctor's decision of the incision points on the joint also affect the recovery process.

Although synovectomy surgery is helpful in alleviating pain, it is a risky procedure because it may cause excessive bleeding and infections due to the cuts, states WebMD. The procedure may also lead to a reduced joint motion range. Additionally, it is not a permanent solution to pain relief as the pain may come back after a certain period of time.

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