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Hypertrophic Synovitis of the Facet Joint Causing Root Pain

Author(s): Koichi Iwatsuki | Toshiki Yoshimine | Masanori Aoki and Kazuhiro Yoshimura

Journal: Clinical Medicine : Arthritis and Musculoskeletal Disorders
ISSN 1178-1149

Volume: 1;
Start page: 13;
Date: 2008;
Original page

Keywords: synovium | hypertrophic synoviti | --- root pain | sciatica

Osteoarthritic changes in the facet joints are common in the presence of degenerative disc disease. Changes in the joint capsule accompany changes in the articular surfaces. Intraspinal synovial cysts that cause radicular pain, cauda equina syndrome, and myelopathy have been reported; however, there have been few reports in orthopedic or neurosurgical literature regarding hypertrophic synovitis of the facet joint presenting as an incidental para-articular mass. Here, we report a case of hypertrophic synovitis causing root pain. We describe the case of a 65-year-old man suffering from right sciatica and right leg pain in the L5 nerve-root dermatome for 1 year; magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) revealed an enhanced mass around the L4–5 facet joint. We investigated this mass pathologically. After right medial facetectomy, the symptoms resolved. Pathological investigation revealed this mass was hypertrophic synovitis. Hypertrophic synovitis of the facet joint might cause root pain.

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