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What is synovitis?

Synovitis is a type of arthritis that causes hip pain and limping. It occurs in children prior to the onset of puberty and usually resolves on its own.


  • Hip pain (one side only)

  • Limp

  • Thigh pain, in front and toward the middle

  • Knee pain

  • Low-grade fever


Toxic/transient synovitis is diagnosed only after more serious conditions have been ruled out. Exams can include an ultrasound or X-ray of the hip, a complete blood count and in some cases, a bone scan and aspiration of hip joint fluid.


Children can limit activity to ease pain or soreness but may engage in normal activities as they like. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications may be prescribed to reduce pain. Generally the hip pain goes away in seven to 10 days.


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