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Anon. asked...

Transient synovitis

Is transient synovitis serious? My 3 year old son couldn't get up out of bed today complaining of a sore thigh. He was also unable to put any weight on it. I took him to A&E, they said it's transient synovitis and said for him to get plenty of rest and to return on Friday to get it checked over. I just wondered if you had any further information on the condition and how serious it is?

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The answer

Transient Synovitis is also known as Toxic Synovitis however, this condition is not as serious as it sounds.

This condition is basically inflammation of the synovial lining of the joint and in your sons case it is his hip joint that is affected.

This condition is common in children between the ages of 3 and 10 and is a lot more frequent in boys.

The condition is usually brief in duration often only lasting for 2-3 weeks and does not usually have an on going impact on the child although relapses may sometimes occur.

Transient synovitis usually occurs following injury to the limb or post chest, throat or stomach infections and is thought to be an inflammatory reaction to the insult of injury or infection to the body.

Symptoms often include pain or discomfort to the joint, restricted movement, a limp or inability to weight bear on the joint and sometimes a mild temperature.

Diagnosis is achieved by physical examination, taking of medical history and by using tests such as blood tests, x-rays and ultrasound scans to reach a firm diagnosis.

Treatment usually involves rest and the use of analgesics and anti-inflammatories (Paracetamol and Ibuprofen). Massage and the use of heat applications or hot water bottles may also aid recovery.

Exercise should be avoided for a couple of weeks post recovery, however, swimming is thought to help muscle recovery and regaining of movement previously restricted as a result of this.

Your physician or GP should follow up your son in order to see if there is any improvement and to rule out any pre-existing factors or complications that may have arisen as a result of this occurring.

Answered by the Health at Hand nurses  

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