Which findings are characteristic of synovitis in juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA)?

Updated: Jul 25, 2019
  • Author: David D Sherry, MD; Chief Editor: Lawrence K Jung, MD  more...
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In synovitis, in which there is synovial proliferation and an increase in joint volume, the joint is held in a position of maximum comfort. Limbs with synovitis are generally held in flexion. Range of motion often is limited only at the extremes.

In synovitis, the fingers may appear swollen, and the range of motion becomes painful. The wrist goes into flexion. In the knee, the parapatellar fossae often are obliterated, and a doughy synovium may be palpable. A soft, boggy swelling is appreciated in the popliteal fossa.

The hip is held in an attitude of flexion, abduction, and external rotation. Attempted range of motion will be painful to a varying degree. Guarding is an early sign of synovitis.

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