Chondromatosis: Symptoms and Treatment

Chondromatosis is a pathological process in which the synovial membrane of the joint degenerates into a cartilaginous tissue. In more complex cases, ossification of the degenerated tissue is possible. As a rule, the pathology is observed only in one of the joints. The ailment occurs simultaneously in several at the same time very rarely. In the main risk group, men after 40 years. In women, chondromatosis is rarely diagnosed.


Unfortunately, the etiology of this disease has not been studied. The provoking factors are not established.

Presumably provoking factors can be frequent injuries of limbs, previously suffered from serious infectious diseases.


Chondromatosis is a rather complex disease, since the symptomatology almost completely corresponds to subacute arthritis. There may be such symptoms:

  • impairment in the functioning of the musculoskeletal system
  • joint pain
  • a crunch when walking;
  • swelling of the skin;
  • Local temperature increase.

It should be noted that in most cases at an early stage of development of this pathological process, signs of the disease may be completely absent. Short-term pain can be attributed to fatigue, the consequences of trauma, so do not seek medical help from a doctor.


Chondromatosis can develop in almost any joint. But, as clinicians note, most often the pathology is localized in the region of the knee or hip joint. In view of this, these types of illness are distinguished:

  1. hondromatosis of the hip joint
  2. knee chondromatitis

Knee joint injury

Chondromatosis of the knee joint can be both congenital (idiopathic form) and acquired (presumably because of previous injuries). There is no exact etiology.

At an early stage, the knee joint chondromatosis can proceed without any symptoms. As the pathological process develops, a clinical picture can be observed:

  • knee stiffness
  • Pain. As the disease develops, it can manifest itself even at rest;
  • swelling in the knee area
  • elevated temperature.

Chondromatosis of the knee joint develops rather slowly. The pain starts to disturb the person only at a stage of growth of nodules in a joint.

Treatment of such ailment is carried out only operably, with the subsequent restoration by exercise therapy and physiotherapy procedures.

Hip joint damage

Chondromatosis of the hip joint is rarely diagnosed. Characterized by proliferation of cartilage bodies in the hip joint. The etiology is also unknown.

The symptomatology in this case is:

  1. feeling of discomfort when walking;
  2. lameness for no apparent reason;
  3. Local temperature increase.

With the development of hondromatosis of the hip joint, pain can disturb a person even in a state of rest.

At an early stage of the disease development, treatment can be conservative. Medically and physiotherapy removes contracture. When the disease is transferred to the chronic stage, treatment is performed only operably.


Diagnosis of this disease is only instrumental. Since synovial chondromatosis is similar in symptoms to other diseases, additional differential diagnosis is often performed.

After a personal examination and finding out an anamnesis, an instrumental diagnosis is performed:

  • CT of the joint;
  • MRI
  • arthroscopy
  • Material biopsy;
  • Knee and hip joint ultrasound.

Only on the basis of the results of the study the doctor can establish an accurate diagnosis and prescribe the correct course of treatment. But, as medical practice shows, most often this is an operative intervention.


If the disease is diagnosed at an early stage, treatment can be performed without surgery. But in this case, the recurrence of the pathological process is not excluded. Conservative treatment can only bring temporary relief.

The type of operative intervention depends on the size of pathological formations. If a single formation of pathological bodies is diagnosed, then removal is possible during arthroscopy. Otherwise, a full operation is performed.

As medical practice shows, radical treatment brings the most positive results. If within the healthy tissue it is impossible to perform an operation, without the exception of limb amputation.

If the surgical treatment fails to produce the proper result, and the relapse of the disease is diagnosed, the joint is removed with a replacement for the prosthesis.


At the initial stage, the ailment responds well to treatment and does not cause significant complications. Otherwise, the pathological process can lead to the curvature of the limbs and disability. Prevention as such does not exist, since etiology has not been studied.