What is transient synovitis of hip?

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Transient synovitis in children: Overview

Transient synovitis is irritation and swelling of the lining of the hip joint. It occurs most often in boys between the ages of 4 and 10 years. It's also called toxic synovitis.

This problem may happen after a child has a cold or a respiratory infection. Or it can happen after an illness with a fever, like tonsillitis or an ear infection. In some cases, it happens after an injury.

Your child will feel pain in the hip. There may also be thigh or knee pain. Sometimes this pain can cause a limp when the child walks.

You can help your child feel better with home treatment. The pain will probably improve in a couple of days. But it may take a few weeks for your child to return to normal.

Toxic synovitis

Toxic synovitis is an irritation and swelling of the lining of the hip joint. The condition causes pain and tenderness that may move down to the thigh and knee; it sometimes makes a person limp.

Toxic synovitis is the most common cause of hip pain in children. It typically occurs in children between the ages of 3 and 8 years. Toxic synovitis happens more often in boys than in girls. It commonly follows a mild injury or an illness with a fever, such as tonsillitis or an ear infection.

This condition usually resolves on its own, but treatment may be given for pain and inflammation.

Toxic synovitis is also called transient synovitis.

How can you care for transient synovitis in children?

  • Give your child acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) for pain. Read and follow all instructions on the label. Do not give aspirin to anyone younger than 20. It has been linked to Reye syndrome, a serious illness.
  • Be careful when giving your child over-the-counter cold or flu medicines and Tylenol at the same time. Many of these medicines have acetaminophen, which is Tylenol. Read the labels to make sure that you are not giving your child more than the recommended dose.
  • Limit activities that put weight on the hip. After the pain goes away, your child can do normal activities.

Transient synovitis in children: When to call

Watch closely for changes in your child's health, and be sure to contact your doctor if:

  • Your child's hip pain gets worse or lasts more than 10 days.
  • Your child has a fever of 100.4°F or higher.
  • Your child does not get better as expected.

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The content above contains general health information provided by Healthwise, Incorporated, and reviewed by its medical experts. This content should not replace the advice of your healthcare provider. Not all treatments or services described are offered as services by us. For recommended treatments, please consult your healthcare provider.