Therapeutic options in the management of hemophilic synovitis

Marvin S. Gilbert, Timothy E. Radomisli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

40 Scopus citations


There is a complex relationship between recurrent bleeding, synovitis, and the development of arthritis in the patient with hemophilia. There are many options available for the treatment of recurrent bleeding and hemophilic synovitis, indicating that none works very well. Conservative treatment, including replacement of the missing clotting factor for 3 to 6 months, intermittent steroids, immobilization, and physical therapy should be tried before synovectomy is indicated. Synovectomy can be achieved through an open procedure, arthroscopically, or by rejection of a radioactive material into the joint. Radioactive synovectomy is indicated in patients with inhibitors to the clotting factor, patients with advanced human immunodeficiency virus and advanced hepatitis, and in those patients with multiple joint involvement. Arthroscopic synovectomy is the procedure the authors recommend for the knee and ankle joints, although open synovectomy offers an excellent alternative. The greatest risk to these procedures is a decreased range of motion, and this is most problematic in the young child who cannot cooperate with a program of physical therapy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)88-92
Number of pages5
JournalClinical Orthopaedics and Related Research
StatePublished - Oct 1997


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