What is Synovial osteochondromatosis?
Synovial osteochondromatosis (SOC) (synonyms include synovial chondromatosis, primary synovial chondromatosis, synovial chondrometaplasia) is a rare disease that creates a benign change or proliferation in the synovium or joint-lining tissue, which changes to form bone-forming cartilage. In most occurrences, there is only one joint affected, either the knee, the hip, or the elbow. Rarely involves the TMJ.
The etiology or cause is unknown.
In this condition, cartilaginous metaplasia takes place within the synovial membrane of the joint. Metaplastic synovium organizes into nodules. With minor trauma, nodules are shed as small bodies into the joint space. In some patients, the disease process may involve tendon sheaths and bursal sacs.
Cartilaginous intra-articular bodies float freely within the synovial fluid, which they require for nutrition and growth. Progressive enlargement and ossification occur with time. If they remain free, they continue to grow larger and more calcified. In severe cases, they may occupy the entire joint space or penetrate to adjacent tissues. Also, they can deposit in the synovial lining, reestablish a blood supply, and become replaced by bone. On occasion, synovial reattachment can lead to complete reabsorption of the cartilage fragment.