Synovectomy surgery is done to remove inflamed joint tissue (synovial membrane) that is causing unacceptable pain or is limiting your ability to function or your range of motion. Ligaments and other structures may be moved aside to access and remove the inflamed joint lining. The procedure may be done using arthroscopy.
- Avoid certain medications. Your doctor may want you to avoid taking medications or dietary supplements that can increase your risk of bleeding.
- Fast beforehand. Depending on the type of anesthesia you’ll have, your doctor may want you to avoid eating, and drinking six to twelve hours before your procedure.
- Arrange for a ride. You won’t be allowed to drive yourself home after the procedure, so make sure someone will be available to pick you up. If you live alone, ask someone to check on you that evening or, ideally, stay with you the rest of the day.
- Choose loose clothing. Wear loose, comfortable clothing baggy gym shorts, slip on shoes for example, if you’re having knee surgery so you can dress easily after the procedure.
Synovectomy may be performed either as an open surgical procedure or with the aid of arthroscopy, in which the orthopedic surgeon uses miniaturized instruments, fiberoptic technology, and a tiny camera inserted through very small incisions in the skin. Magnified pictures from the camera are projected onto a television monitor in the operating suite, guiding the surgeon throughout the procedure.
As soon as possible after surgery, a physical therapist will teach you how and when to move the joint. Recovery depends on the surgical technique used and the location of the incisions. Following knee Synovectomy, your knee will be immobilized in a removable cast. Physical therapy is usually started after 1 to 2 days, and the intra-articular suction drain is removed 24 hours after surgery.
As with any surgical procedure, complications can occur. Some possible complications may include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Bleeding into the knee joint.
- Damage to the cartilage, meniscus, or ligaments in the knee.
- Formation of a blood clot in the leg.
- Injury to a blood vessel or nerve.
- Infection in the knee joint.
- Knee stiffness following the procedure.