Synovial Chondromatosis of the Elbow

Damjan Dimnjaković, Ivan Bojanić, Alan Mahnik, Tomislav Smoljanović


Synovial chondromatosis (SC) is a rare, mostly benign proliferation of the synovium of the joint, tendon or bursa which results in the formation of loose bodies. It can appear in one of 33 described localisations, but it is most common in the knee. In our study we gathered a group of 7 patients (6 male and 1 female) with SC of the elbow, which underwent arthroscopic surgery of the elbow, performing both removal of the loose bodies and complete synovectomy. Mayo Elbow Performance Score (MEPS) was used to evaluate and compare the patients' condition before the operation and at the final follow-up, 31 months, on average, after the operation (range 18-56 months). All patients had poor MEPS   before the operation, with an average of 40.7 (range 15-50 points). At the final follow-up, 6 patients had a good or excellent MEPS, while a poor MEPS was present in a single patient. The average MEPS was 85 (range 45-100 points). The one patient who’s MEPS remained poor developed heterotopic ossification in the same elbow shortly after arthroscopic surgery. This patient was reoperated 8 months later using an open technique. No other complications occurred in the rest of the operated patients and no recurrence of SC occurred in any of the operated patients. Our results confirm that arthroscopic removal of loose bodies and complete synovectomy should be the treatment of choice for SC of the elbow.


synovial chondromatosis, elbow, treatment, arthroscopy, heterotopic ossification

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