Synovitis of the Hip

What is it and how is it treated?

Synovitis of the hip is a condition where there is inflammation of the synovial tissues (connective tissues) surrounding the hip joint.

This condition is also commonly called transient synovitis and can often cause pain in the hip.

If you or your child are experiencing pain in your hip that interferes with mobility, then schedule a consultation with the team at OrthoNeuro. Our orthopedic surgeons provide state-of-the-art diagnosis and personalized treatment.

What are the causes of synovitis of the hip?

The most common cause of hip synovitis is overuse of the joint.

Synovitis of the hip is a condition that is commonly seen in athletes or people with jobs that require repetitive movement, such as squatting or lifting.

Transient synovitis is also a leading cause of sudden hip pain occurring in children between 2 to 9 years old. However, synovitis mainly occurs in boys, and only one side of the hip is usually affected.

Some other causes of synovitis hip are:

  • Inflammatory arthritis
  • Loss of cartilage in the joint
  • Trauma to the hip
  • Viral infection (such as an upper respiratory infection, middle ear infection, bronchitis)

What are the symptoms of synovitis of the hip?

The most common symptom of synovitis hip is joint pain in the hip and groin region.

However, the pain might be more intense than is expected based on the appearance of the joint because there is often no visible evidence of injury or swelling that is causing pain in the hips.

Synovitis hip is also common in young patients ages 2 to 9. The symptoms that can be seen in pediatric patients are complaints of pain in the hips, a low-grade fever, limping, or finding it difficult to walk.

How is synovitis of the hip diagnosed?

The main concern when diagnosing transient synovitis of the hip is differentiating it from septic arthritis. Septic arthritis is an infection of the joints that destroys joint cartilage and can cause permanent damage to the joints.

In order to obtain a differential diagnosis, your healthcare provider does a physical examination to assess the joint’s range of motion.

A joint with septic arthritis will have pain with any attempted range of motion. This is one of the factors distinguishing septic arthritis from synovitis.

Your healthcare provider (or rheumatologist) might also order additional diagnostic tests such as the ones mentioned below.

Tests used to diagnose synovitis of the hip

Some different diagnostic tests that may be used by your healthcare provider to diagnose synovitis hip include: 

  • Plain Radiographs – Used to evaluate the source of the pain.  
  • Ultrasound – Used to demonstrate a joint effusion (extra fluid flooding the tissues around your joint.)
  • MRI – Used to detect abnormalities such as periarticular pyomyositis or osteomyelitis.
  • Culture Test – A test of the synovial fluid within the joint.

Synovitis hip treatment

Treatments for Synovitis hip include:

  • Rest/avoid bearing any weight on the joint
  • Application of heat on the joint
  • Massaging the painful area
  • Anti-inflammatory medications to reduce the pain
  • Steroid injections (often used with intense pain)

Patients who don’t respond to the treatments mentioned above may be referred to an orthopedic surgeon to discuss a synovectomy, which is a procedure in which much of the synovium is removed.

Contact Us

If you or your child have severe hip discomfort, schedule a consultation online today at OrthoNeuro. Our orthopedic surgeons provide state-of-the-art diagnosis and personalized treatment.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you walk with synovitis of the hip?

An old or young patient with synovitis may limp, complain of hip and leg pain, or be reluctant to walk.

Can synovitis be cured?

Although the treatments geared toward transient synovitis are used to decrease inflammation and manage pain, they are not considered a cure.

What is transient synovitis?

Transient Synovitis is a condition where there is inflammation of the synovial tissues (connective tissues) surrounding the hip joint. This condition is also known as “synovitis of the hip” and “toxic synovitis.”

How long does hip synovitis last?

Pain in the hips caused by synovitis usually lasts for about 7 to 10 days. 

Make an Appointment with an OrthoNeuro Specialist Today! 

  • If you are suffering from synovitis of the hip, schedule an appointment with one of our Board Certified Orthopedic Hip Specialists at one of our 7 convenient locations throughout Greater Columbus.
  • We will evaluate your unique lifestyle and goals to determine which treatment option is best for you.
  • Best of all, most patients can be seen within 24 hours of making an appointment.

Meet Our Hip Specialists

Ryan M. Palmer, DO

Orthopedic Surgeon

Mark E. Gittins, DO, FAOAO

Orthopedic Surgeon

Michael B. Cannone, DO

Orthopedic Surgeon

Mark T. Kolich, DO

Orthopedic Surgeon
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Call: (614) 890-6555

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