Knee synovectomy

Ask a question


Synovectomy is a surgical technique that involves the removal of the synovium. The latter is located inside the capsule surrounding a joint. Two techniques are possible. The surgeon can perform a wide opening of the affected joint to remove the synovial capsule directly (this is called arthrotomy). Either that or it is arthroscopy that is used: a doctor cannot open the joint and thus uses multiple input points across which a mini camera and tools will be used for the same means.


We resort to knee synovectomy in cases when other techniques fail, such as infiltration, antibiotic therapy or intra-articular corticosteroids injections. This is to relieve the joint inflammation of the knee or the infectious disease affecting it. It is also practiced in certain chronic inflammatory conditions affecting the knee, such as rheumatoid arthritis, or in the presence of a tumor in the synovium. In case of infection in a knee that has been operated on and in which there is a prosthesis, this technique is also possible. It is also used in cases of hemarthrosis (blood in the joint), which is recurrent in patients with hemophilia.

Arthroscopic procedure

Before the practice of synovectomy of the knee, a pre-anesthetic assessment will be made. The aim is to detect any diseases that may be causing the complications. Synovectomy of the knee is done through several holes to explore each compartment of the knee. This is done by scanning the latter with an arthroscope, equipped with an optical system for viewing the tube inside the joint. Drainage is performed after surgery and a pressure dressing is applied. The patient is hospitalized after synovectomy of the knee for a few days. The leg will be raised to avoid problems of thrombosis, and the joint will be ice-covered for pain relief. Blood thinners and painkillers are often necessary. Rehabilitation will be practiced to regain traction. It is possible to walk by the end of the second day with the help of crutches.