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Hip Synovial Chondromatosis Leads to Joint Space Widening

Still, patients report improvement despite radiographic findings of joint space widening after surgery

THURSDAY, Feb. 17 (HealthDay News) -- Joint space widening persists after surgery for primary synovial chondromatosis of the hip, but it does not appear to influence clinical results, according to a study published in the Feb. 2 issue of The Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery.

Pil Whan Yoon, M.D., from the Seoul National University College of Medicine in South Korea, and colleagues studied 21 patients between 1991 and 2005 who had synovial chondromatosis of the hip and were treated with open synovectomy and removal of osteochondral fragments. Joint space widening was evaluated on radiographs preoperatively, immediately following surgery, and at follow-up. Patients were evaluated postoperatively for an average of 5.9 years.

The researchers identified 12 patients with joint space widening of the hip from the preoperative radiographs: medial joint space widening in three patients, and both medial and superior widening in nine patients. Joint spaces in the affected hip were wider by an average of 44.7 percent in the medial joint space and by 35.9 percent in the superior joint space, compared with those in the unaffected, contralateral hip. Medial joint space widths of the affected hip were slightly reduced in the initial postoperative period, but widened joint spaces persisted later in the follow-up, without other changes.

"Although there was persistence of joint space widening after surgical treatment in all patients, all had remarkable symptomatic improvement postoperatively, and mid-term follow-up results were satisfactory," the authors write.

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