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Shoulder Synovial Membrane

Synovia is a transparent alkaline, viscid fluid resembling the white of an egg, secreted by the synovial membrane and contained in joint cavities, bursa, and tendon sheaths.


Each facet joint has its own synovial membrane that surrounds the joint and secretes a tiny amount of lubricating fluid. Joint surfaces are covered with a smooth articular cartilage that facilitates movement in the region. After a wound, contusion or strain, or irritation produced by floating cartilage, or exposure to cold and dampness, simple inflammation may attack the synovial membrane.


  • Restriction of movement in the joints especially at night
  • Soreness
  • Moderate to severe pain
  • Swelling
  • Tension

After a few days, pain usually lessens and swelling diminishes as the accumulated fluids and blood are absorbed. The limb takes its natural position and recovery follows.


Synovial biopsy helps diagnose gout and bacterial infections and may suggest the presence of inflammatory conditions, such as autoimmune disorders.

Home Treatment

The affected joint should be placed at rest. Other treatments include: 

  • Cold packs 
  • Hot packs
  • Cotton or wool applied and bandaged
  • Magnetic therapy

If there is significant fluids and/or blood in the cavity, aspiration may be required under strict sterile conditions.

Medical Treatment

Treatment can vary with the amount of fluid present and according to type of arthritis present. When the condition is not long standing and articular fullness is not great, rest and pressure of the shoulder, preferably immobilized with cast, is usually recommended.

When long standing and usefulness is impaired, the condition is called hydrarthrosis. If above treatment proves ineffective, it is common to aspirate and inject 3% to 5% solution of carbolic acid after inflammation has completely diminished.

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