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Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center (GARD)

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Synovial Chondromatosis

Other Names for this Disease
  • Synovial osteochondromatosis
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Your Question

I have just had surgery for this condition - I am 53 years old and have had hip pain in my right hip for 31 years. Finally it has been diagnosed and (hopefully) fixed. I have also had type 1 diabetes since I was 28. Are there any ideas about the cause of synovial chondromatosis? Do you think I will have a full recovery? I have some arthritis in the joint - will this resolve?

Our Answer

We have identified the following information that we hope you find helpful. If you still have questions, please contact us.

What causes synovial chondromatosis?

The exact underlying cause of synovial chondromatosis is unknown.[1][2] Some research suggests that trauma may play a role in its development because the condition primarily occurs in weight-bearing joints. Infection has also been considered as a contributing factor.[2] The condition is not inherited.[1]

Synovial chondromatosis can reportedly occur as either a primary or secondary form. Primary synovial chondromatosis, which is more rare, occurs spontaneously and does not appear to relate to any pre-existing conditions. Secondary synovial chondromatosis is the more common form and often occurs when there is pre-existent osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, osteonecrosis, osteochondritis dissecans, neuropathic osteoarthropathy (which often occurs in diabetic individuals), tuberculosis, or osteochondral fractures (torn cartilage covering the end of a bone in a joint) in the affected individual.[3]
Last updated: 6/24/2013

What is the long-term outlook for individuals with synovial chondromatosis?

The long-term outlook (prognosis) for individuals with synovial chondromatosis varies depending on the joint affected, the amount of damage to the joint and whether the condition recurs after treatment. Follow-up examinations are usually required to monitor for recurrence and any progression of osteoarthritis.[1] Sometimes, a second surgery is necessary.[2] The amount of damage that the condition has already done to the joint will influence the chance of arthritis developing.[1] Affected individuals may need physical therapy after treatment to preserve normal functioning of the affected joint.[2]
Last updated: 6/24/2013