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Joint Synovitis or Capsulitis | Find Your Stride | Edinburgh Podiatrist

Joint synovitis is a condition that affects the synovial membrane in the joints, leading to inflammation and pain. The synovial membrane is a thin layer of tissue that lines the joints and produces synovial fluid, which lubricates and nourishes the joint. When the synovial membrane becomes inflamed, it can cause pain, swelling, and stiffness in the joint.

Painful and inflamed toe joints
Metatarso-phalangeal (MTP) joint synovitis is a common cause of forefoot pain

There are several causes of joint synovitis, including injury, infection, and autoimmune conditions. Injuries, such as sprains or fractures, can damage the synovial membrane and lead to inflammation. Infections, such as septic arthritis, can also cause inflammation of the synovial membrane. Autoimmune conditions, such as rheumatoid arthritis, can trigger an immune response that attacks the synovial membrane, leading to inflammation.

Symptoms of joint synovitis can vary depending on the severity of the inflammation. Common symptoms include pain, swelling, stiffness, and redness in the affected joint. In some cases, joint synovitis can also cause reduced range of movement in the joint. Diagnosing joint synovitis typically involves a physical exam and imaging tests, such as X-rays or MRI scans. A doctor may also perform a joint aspiration, where they remove a sample of synovial fluid from the joint for analysis.

Treatment for joint synovitis usually involves a combination of rest, medications, physical therapy, and in severe cases, surgery. Resting the affected joint or using foot orthoses can help reduce inflammation and pain. Medications, such as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) or corticosteroids, can help reduce pain and inflammation. Physical therapy can help to improve range of motion and strengthen the muscles around the affected joint. In severe cases, surgery may be necessary to repair or remove damaged tissue in the joint.

In conclusion, joint synovitis is a condition that can cause pain, swelling, and stiffness in the joints. It can be caused by injury, infection, or autoimmune conditions. Diagnosis typically involves a physical exam and imaging tests, and treatment usually includes rest, medications, physical therapy, and surgery. If you suspect you may have joint synovitis, it is important to see a doctor or healthcare professional for a comprehensive assessment.

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