Foot + Ankle Problems + Treatments

Pigmented Villonodular Synovitis (PVNS)

What is Pigmented Villonodular Synovitis (PVNS)?

Pigmented Villonodular Synovitis (PVNS) is a joint disease of the synovium, or joint lining. It is characterized by inflammation and overgrowth of the synovium and it can effect many joints, including the ankle and foot. The overgrowth and inflammation harms the joint, leading to early joint damage. Typically patients complain of pain and restricted movement.

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Nodule of diseased PVNS which was removed during hip arthroscopy

The above photos shows the typical appearance of PVNS. There is a golden brown appearance with areas of yellow very friable tissue.

PVNS is idiopathic, i.e., it occurs without any specific cause. There is no genetic or hereditary association, and it is not related to activity levels. The diagnosis is confirmed at the time of surgery, and there are MRI findings that may suggest its presence and provide a high suspicion of it being present. The MRI can show clusters of thickening of synovium not only around the joint itself surrounding the capsule but the PVNS may extend beyond the boundaries of the joint itself as the disease progresses.

Video of Pigmented Villonodular Synovitis (PVNS)

Surgical Treatment Options for Video of Pigmented Villonodular Synovitis (PVNS)

Surgery is typically recommended as a treatment for PVNS, with the type of surgery dictated by the extent of damage to the joint. In cases where significant degeneration has occurred and the damage is more advanced, a joint replacement or fusion is recommendable. In cases of minimal joint damage, an arthroscopic procedure may be performed to remove as much of the diseased synovium as possible. Even with surgery, the PVNS may recur and require additional treatments including repeat surgery or radiation therapy.

For more information about PVNS or to schedule an appointment, please contact Dr. Carreira directly.

Photos of Pigmented Villonodular Synovitis (PVNS)