Synovial Chondromatosis

Synovial Osteochondromatosis Joint Tumor LASynovial chondromatosis (also known as synovial osteochondromatosis) is a benign soft tissue tumor that can develop around any joint, but in most cases, affects the knee joint. While synovial chondromatosis is non-cancerous and doesn’t spread into other parts of the body, it should be treated, otherwise, if left alone, the condition can worsen, leading to osteoarthritis (degenerative joint condition).

Medical conditions such as these are best treated by an orthopedic oncologist, like Daniel C. Allison, whose specialty is musculoskeletal disorders, including synovial chondromatosis. Dr. Allison is a Los Angeles expert in soft tissue damage and adept at effectively distinguishing a tumor’s effect on joint function and mobility. He can quickly assess and diagnose synovial chondromatosis and recommend the best course of treatment for you. Often surgery is required, and Dr. Allison can provide a level of precision enabling him to remove tumors in delicate areas while preserving surrounding tissue.

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The cause of synovial chondromatosis is not conclusive, but research indicates that trauma to the joint from wear and tear or an accident is suspected as a likely reason. Infection is another possible factor for the condition.

The tumor begins as deposits of cartilage in the protective synovium lining surrounding a joint. Some of the cartilage might turn into bone and, in severe cases, cartilage can end up filling the entire joint space or even penetrate through the synovium into adjacent tissue. Synovial chondromatosis often develops as a secondary condition in individuals with arthritis, like osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis. Diabetics are also at risk for the condition  since they are susceptible to developing neuropathic osteorthropathy.

Symptoms and Risk Factors

Synovial chondromatosis is a condition associated with older adults between 30 to 50 years old and men are more likely to develop the condition than women.

Since the disorder is typically confined to a joint, such as an arm, shoulder, or knee, symptoms will be localized to the affected area and will be similar to osteoarthritis. Synovial chondromatosis causes joint pain and swelling, which then impairs range of motion and induces stiffness. Fluid can also collect in a joint and in these cases lead to grinding and popping upon movement.

The condition’s similarity to osteoarthritis could cause a delay with diagnosis. Sometimes a patient being treated for osteoarthritis might hesitate seeking additional medical treatment and by doing this, allow the chondromatosis to worsen. For these reasons, consultation with a specialist, like Dr. Allison, who is familiar with the disorder is very important.

Surgery For Prevention and Symptom Relief

Surgery is often the recommended treatment for synovial chondromatosis. Even if the synovial chondromatosis hasn’t progressed too far, you need to have loose cartilage removed before it interferes with joint movement. In these cases, getting rid of debris around the joint will not only relieve you of painful symptoms but serve as a preventive measure against degenerative joint disease. If the synovial chondromatosis is severe and already progressed into osteoarthritis, surgery will stop its progress and prevent any further damage.

Dr. Allison often performs arthroscopy, a minimally invasive technique, for patients with synovial chondromatosis. This approach is less invasive, enabling a patient to recover quickly with less rehabilitation time needed; however, sometimes a patient might be better suited for traditional open surgery. With Dr. Allison, it isn’t until he has thoroughly examined a patient and reviewed diagnostic tests that he will recommend the best treatment for a patient.

Additionally, there will be some rehabilitation following surgery, and its duration will depend upon the method and extent of the procedure performed. Each patient responds and recovers differently after surgery from synovial chondromatosis, therefore, personalized recovery plans are developed to accommodate individual needs.

For some, synovial chondromatosis can recur making periodic follow-up examinations necessary. Then your doctor would also want to monitor for any signs or progress of osteoarthritis, but this only applies to patients already diagnosed or at risk for arthritis.

Read more about synovial chondomatosis from AAOS.org.

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Dr. Daniel C. Allison’s specialty as an orthopedic oncologist provides him with the skill and expertise to treat bone tumors, preserve limbs, and other complex orthopedic conditions. He is the ideal physician for diagnosing challenging musculoskeletal disorders and developing an appropriate treatment plan. Contact our office online or call us today to schedule a personal consultation at (310) 730-8008 and connect to a Los Angeles oncology specialist today!

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