Wrist synovitis is the inflammation of the synovial membrane lining the joints in the wrist and often coincides with carpal tunnel syndrome at the wrist – with compression of the median nerve as it travels through the carpal tunnel.

It is often found in patients suffering from Rheumatoid Arthritis, and may also present itself in the form of a Ganglion cyst. Patients suffering from the condition suffer from pain and discomfort when moving the wrist.

Those at Risk
While wrist synovitis most often affects those suffering from Rheumatoid Arthritis, it has also been diagnosed in young patients involved in sports demanding on the wrist joint such as gymnastics and tennis.

Patient history and the type of pain experienced will provide some insight for diagnosis. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) will help identify the areas of vulnerability and confirm wrist synovitis.

Depending on the severity of the condition and other vulnerabilities that may exist, wrist synovitis may be treated with glucocorticoid injections into the joint. When wrist synovitis presents with a wrist ganglion and deteriorating conditions following the use of antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs) and other conservative treatment, a Synovectomy may be recommended.

A Synovectomy is done to remove the inflamed joint tissue (synovium) that is causing the pain, irritation and swelling. It may be done arthroscopically or surgically.

Physical therapy begins one to two weeks following a procedure and focuses on restoring range of motion.