Transient Synovitis of the hip – also called Toxic Synovitis – causes sudden hip pain. It is caused by inflammation and swelling of the tissue around the hip joint and is most commonly found in children aged from three to ten years. It can also be caused by labral tears, ligament sprains or arthritis and often occurs in sports people in conjunction with another hip joint injury.
About Synovitis of the hip
Typically the condition only lasts a short time – a few days in most cases – hence the name “transient.” The symptoms can be treated through a combination of rest and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medicine such as Ibuprofen.
No-one is really sure what causes Transient Synovitis but it may be triggered by a virus or allergic reaction to infection elsewhere in the body.
The condition is more commonly found in boys than in girls and sometimes occurs in children below the age of three.
Symptoms to look out for include pain in the hip, which can either worsen quickly or slowly over time, and pain at night, which can be accompanied by a fever or knee joint pain.
At first the pain of Transient Synovitis may be so mild that the sufferer is not really aware of it, however once it worsens the condition can cause problems with walking or standing. Pain occurs whenever the hip is moved and the sufferer can begin walking with a limp.
Some people experience pain in their inner thigh or knee and it is common for someone with Transient Synovitis to want to lie on their back, bending the knee on the side that hurts and turning their foot outwards to try and alleviate the pain.
Diagnosis and Treatment
If you or your child starts experiencing hip pain, you need to visit your GP, or an orthopaedic specialist, who will set out to determine what type of movement makes the pain worse. The GP may order blood tests or X-rays to rule out more serious conditions, such as Perthes’ disease.
Rest is the best form of treatment for Synovitis, with Ibuprofen to help reduce the swelling and inflammation. You need to keep an eye on your child’s temperature and report a temperature higher than 99.5°F to the GP as a fever might indicate possible complications. With rest and treatment, the condition should improve within three or four days. The GP may want to check on your child after 12-24 hours to make sure the condition is improving.
Once the pain has gone, the sufferer should go on to make a full recovery and can resume normal activities.
Complications from Transient Synovitis are rare. However, your GP may want to do a follow-up X-ray in around six months just to be on the safe side.
If an individual fails to recover from Transient Synovitis within 10 days, it is advisable to go back to the GP for further tests to make sure there isn’t anything else wrong.
If you are concerned or have any questions about Synovitis, book a consultation with one of our experienced orthopaedic specialists.