Treating Foreign Body Synovitis

Foreign body synovitis

Foreign body synovitis is a common condition that can cause a lot of pain in your joints. It is not something you want to deal with, but you should know that you can get help with it if you treat it early enough. You may not even realize you have it, and it can be treated in a variety of ways.


Foreign body synovitis occurs when a biomaterial, such as a foreign object, is introduced into the joint and causes an inflammatory reaction. This condition can result in chronic monoarticular synovitis, tenosynovitis, or septic arthritis. A complete history and clinical examination are necessary for diagnosis.

If a foreign body is identified, the patient may attempt to remove it. This can lead to painful, rupturing tendons. Surgical removal is often the only effective treatment for this condition.

A patient with suspected foreign body synovitis should have a thorough clinical and radiographic evaluation. If a foreign body is identified, it may be removed with a local anaesthetic. This may provide relief from symptoms. Afterwards, the patient should undergo gentle range of motion exercises.

In addition to diagnosing the condition, laboratory testing is important. This may include Gram staining, crystal analysis, and synovial fluid tests. If an organism is isolated from a synovial culture, antibiotics are appropriate. In other cases, additional tests, such as antinuclear antibody and uric acid level tests, are required.

If there are no signs of infection, then it is not necessary to inject the joint with corticosteroids. However, if there is any indication of an inflammatory process, then injection with local anaesthetic and steroids may be used. Ideally, a joint aspiration should be performed. This aspirate should yield a turbid, pus-like fluid.

If the synovial fluid is positive for an inflammatory agent, then Gram staining, crystal analysis, and a white blood cell count should be performed. This should not be done if the patient has had a recent onset of fever, as there are a number of other causes of monoarthritis.

The presence of a traumatic injury is the most common cause of foreign body synovitis. Patients with this condition may also report flu-like symptoms. If the patient has had an accident or a previous penetrating injury, a careful history and physical exam should be completed.

The use of high-frequency ultrasound as an adjunct to conventional diagnostics has been reported. In some cases, ultrasound is able to visualize fragments of organic plant material.

Imaging studies

Foreign body synovitis (FB) is a granulomatous reaction associated with a retained foreign body. These reactions can cause hematomas, oedema, and infection. They can also lead to a soft tissue neoplasm, such as a fibroma or abscess.

Foreign body synovitis is most common in rheumatoid arthritis, suppurative arthritis, and serum-negative arthritis. These patients can develop rice bodies, which are cylindric or curved lesions that are formed in the capsule of the hip joint. The diagnosis is usually made by imaging studies.

Plain radiographs and computerized tomography are used to assess the presence and location of foreign bodies. However, these are not always effective in identifying retained foreign bodies. Fortunately, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is a powerful diagnostic tool. It allows the physician to evaluate the inflammatory response of the foreign body and surrounding tissue. It is also useful for the detection and localization of metallic and other FBs.

The radiolucency of these materials makes it difficult to identify them on standard radiographs. In addition, metallic FBs can lead to local inflammation and mechanical injury of the joints.

Foreign body synovitis occurs mainly in the extremities, but it can occur in other parts of the body as well. The majority of traumatic injuries involve the hand and wrist.

The most common types of foreign bodies are metal and wood. Other materials include glass, animal-derived, and plastic. They are typically retained in 7% to 15% of traumatic wounds.

FBs are retained in the hand and are among the most commonly diagnosed causes of a traumatic hand injury. The most common presenting symptoms are pain and swelling. Surgical intervention is required in cases of large lesions. The initial treatment is rest and physical therapy.

MR imaging is the best modality for the assessment of the inflammatory response to a foreign body. It also allows for the identification of the target’s appearance and profile. It is helpful for identifying the foreign body’s surrounding hematoma. If the foreign body is a granuloma, the rim of the hematoma may be replaced by granulomatous tissue. Moreover, a conglomeration of dark SI microspots is seen in the lesion.


Foreign body synovitis is an inflammatory reaction to a foreign object that occurs in the synovium, a soft layer of tissue that lines a joint. The pain associated with this condition can be severe. The synovium is a delicate layer of tissue that reduces friction between the articular cartilage during motion. If the foreign body is not removed, the disease can progress, destroying the surrounding tissue.

There are many factors that can affect the diagnosis of foreign body synovitis. The location of the injury, the presence of the foreign body and the patient’s symptoms are some of the key considerations.

Patients with this type of arthritis often have recurrent inflammation. Two-thirds of them develop a chronic course. In addition to arthroscopic surgery, the patient may also receive steroid injections, which are used to reduce inflammation. Antibiotics are also prescribed to treat the infection.

In some cases, an MRI scan may be performed. This is important in the evaluation of deeper foreign bodies, which may be hard to detect on plain radiographs.

In addition to a thorough history, a physical examination and laboratory testing are necessary. This includes a complete blood cell count, uric acid level and an ESR. The erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR) is usually normal. A synovial biopsy may be needed. If a positive bacteriologic culture is obtained, an antibiotic may be prescribed.

In some cases, it can be helpful to aspirate the joint to evaluate the inflammatory process. This is a more accurate method of diagnosis than radiographs.

A common cause of foreign body synovitis is sea urchin spines. These spines are made of high calcium content, which makes them attractive targets for a foreign bodies. However, these spines can appear on plain radiographs. For this reason, additional tests are needed to confirm the diagnosis.

Plant thorns are another possible cause. These plants have been shown to trigger an inflammatory response. Although cases of plant thorn synovitis have been reported, they are rare.

In the case of a penetrating plant thorn, the synovium is inflamed and the lining is removed. This type of treatment is called aseptic synovitis.

Limitations of the study

Foreign body synovitis is a common cause of monoarticular inflammation and can be caused by an introduced biomaterial or penetrating injury. Symptoms can include swelling and pain. Surgical treatment is often recommended for the infection. If the joint is infected, the synovium should be aspirated and cultures should be obtained. In cases that have a positive culture, antibiotics should be prescribed.

The most common causes of synovitis are plant thorns and sea urchin spines. Both of these organisms have a high radiolucency and are difficult to detect by standard imaging methods. This presents a major diagnostic challenge. When the patient undergoes arthroscopic exploration, the object can be difficult to distinguish from the surrounding tissues. As a result, the foreign body may remain in the joint, causing it to be infected. It may also seed the joint with bacteria and create an inflammatory reaction. If the object has a high metal content, it can promote local inflammation.

The most effective means of detecting the presence of a foreign body is to use a high-frequency ultrasound device. This technology provides rapid detection of foreign bodies with high sensitivity and specificity. This method is less invasive than arthroscopic surgery, which consists of debridement and irrigation. It is also cost-effective.

However, the study of this condition is limited by a lack of a formal algorithm for diagnosing foreign body synovitis. There are many variables to consider, including the nature of the foreign body, the location of the injury, and the patient’s age and comorbidities. It is important to have a thorough physical examination and radiographs before proceeding with surgery.

For more information about the diagnostic approach to synovitis, consult the article below. This article describes the diagnosis, presentation, and progression of sea urchin synovitis. The authors discuss the advantages and limitations of the various diagnostic techniques used to identify and manage this disease. There are also descriptions of the use of high-frequency ultrasound as an adjunct to conventional diagnostics. The authors emphasize that early research on this topic failed to grow the causative organism on culture.

Foreign Body Synovitis in the Pacific – PMC (
Joint pain – NHS (

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