Synovial Chondromatosis Clinical Presentation

Updated: May 13, 2022
  • Author: Nicolai B Baecher, MD; Chief Editor: Omohodion (Odion) Binitie, MD  more...
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The typical history of a patient with primary synovial chondromatosis of the knee is that of a middle-aged man with monoarticular pain, swelling, and stiffness with or without mechanical symptoms in the knee. No history of acute trauma is usually reported, but the patient may have a distant history of knee injury. No systemic signs of infection or illness are apparent.


Physical Examination

With regard to the physical examination, no obvious deformity is likely on inspection. The joint may be enlarged in comparison with the uninvolved side. No overlying skin changes are observed.

On palpation, a large effusion can be felt, and the joint has a spongy sensation. Variably present are palpable loose bodies in synovial recesses, tenderness along the medial or lateral joint line, and decreased patellar mobility. Range of motion (ROM) is typically decreased, with a 10-15° loss in flexion and extension. Pain varies with movement. With regard to special testing, results of a ligamentous examination (eg, Lachman test, drawer test) are normal. No specific maneuver is described.