Knee Surg Sports Traumatol Arthrosc (2011) 19: 932.

The effect of total synovectomy in total knee arthroplasty: a prospective randomized controlled study

Kilicarslan, K., Yalcin, N., Cicek, H. et al.


The apparent synovial hypertrophy in some cases of noninflammatory knee osteoarthritis suggests that total synovectomy may provide beneficial inflammatory and pain relief after total knee arthroplasty. The aim of the study was to compare the effect of synovectomy on the postoperative pain, bleeding and functional outcome after surgical treatment of knee osteoarthritis.



A total of 50 patients with bilateral, non inflammatory, primary knee osteoarthritis were included in the study. Bilateral total knee replacement was performed at the same session. Total synovectomy and total knee arthroplasty (study group) were applied to a randomly selected side, and the total knee arthroplasty alone (as control group) was applied to the contralateral side of the same patient. The overall efficacy of both procedures was assessed postoperatively by determination of blood loss from the drain, pain and functional scores. The Visual Analogue Scale of pain and the Knee Society Knee Score were used to compare the two groups at 3rd, 6th and 12th months, postoperatively.



During the postoperative 48 h, the mean blood loss in the study group (with synovectomy) was significantly higher than the control group (P = 0.005). However, in the postoperative follow-up time, there was no significant difference in pain relief and in the Knee Society Score between the two groups.


Performing synovectomy in patients with primary knee osteoarthritis does not seem to have any clinical advantage besides it might increase blood loss and recurrent hemarthrosis postoperatively. Thus, during arthroplasty surgery, it should not be performed routinely.

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