Hip resurfacing as treatment for synovial chondromatosis

April Ligato, Scott Nelson, Benjamin C Bengs
Orthopedics 2010, 33 (3)
Synovial chondromatosis is a rare condition of metaplastic cartilage development in the synovial membrane of joints. These foci can form free bodies and lead to mechanical arthrosis. The precise etiology is unknown. All synovial joints can be affected, with the hip and knee being most common. Patients with synovial chondromatosis are usually in their fifth decade and typically present with mechanical pain and diffuse swelling. Due to its rarity and nonspecific manifestations, diagnosis of synovial chondromatosis is often delayed until significant mechanical damage and arthrosis has occurred.Controversy exists regarding surgical treatment of synovial chondromatosis, especially with regard to the hip. Localized disease can be treated with resection of affected synovium (possibly arthroscopically), whereas patients with generalized disease require complete, open synovectomy. With articular damage, total hip replacement has been advocated along with synovectomy.This article presents a case of a young man with painful hip synovial chondromatosis who was successfully treated with hip resurfacing and synovectomy after failed hip arthroscopy. Hip resurfacing provides the surgeon with the opportunity to address not only local or generalized synovial disease, but articular damage as well. Furthermore, its bone-preserving properties make this option attractive in the management of this younger patient population. We feel resurfacing has a role in the surgical treatment of synovial chondromatosis. To our knowledge, this is the first case of hip resurfacing arthroplasty for the definitive treatment of synovial chondromatosis.

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