What is hip synovitis?

Hip synovitis develops from an inflamed synovial membrane in the hip.

What causes hip synovitis?

Hip synovitis can occur for several reasons related to the following:

  • A labral tear arises from a rupture of the joint lining (acetabulum). Typical symptoms include hip pain, locking of the hip, reduced hip mobility and stiffness in the joint.
  • Degeneration of the joint and damage to the cartilage are conditions referred to as osteoarthritis and chondropathy. So naturally, the wear of the hyaline cartilage prompts further deterioration of the bone. As a result of these conditions, it is common to experience hip pain, limited hip mobility and inflammation within the joint.
  • Tears of the ligament teres prompt debilitating hip pain, poor mobility and pain at night. The Ligamentum teres form a strong, stable attachment between the pelvis and the top half of the femur. Therefore, this type of ligament stabilises the hip

How does Dr van Niekerk check for hip synovitis?

An x-ray can help rule out Legg-Calve-Perthes’ disease or osteonecrosis, which results in bone death due to the limited blood supply to the femoral head.

How do you treat hip synovitis?

A tailored treatment plan consists of addressing the underlying cause of hip synovitis. Normally, non-steroidal anti-inflammatories are prescribed to treat debilitating hip pain due to hip synovitis. In addition to the use of anti-inflammatory medication, Dr van Niekerk will recommend physiotherapy to alleviate pain.

An arthroscopic synovectomy is a less invasive surgical technique used to resolve hip synovitis and additional conditions affecting the fine synovium membrane. Normally, this procedure is considered when conservative treatments fail to relieve persistent hip pain. The surgery involves inserting an arthroscope and several other miniaturised surgical tools through tiny incisions made over the hip joint. As a result, Dr van Niekerk can remove most of the damaged synovial tissue.


What are the common signs of hip synovitis?
  • Pain in the hip
  • Difficulty walking
  • Pain in the evening
  • Pain in the hip that moves to the knee
When do I need to see Dr van Niekerk for hip synovitis?

You should see Dr van Niekerk when you develop the following symptoms:

  • Swelling or redness near the affected area of the hip
  • Worsening hip pain
  • Pain that does not go away after three days
Can I exercise with hip synovitis?

Hip synovitis causes debilitating hip pain. As a result, you should avoid weight-bearing exercises that place increased pressure on the hip.