Pigmented villonodular synovitis (PVNS) Symptoms & Causes

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In-Depth

What is pigmented villonodular synovitis?
Pigmented villonodular synovitis (PVNS) is a type of benign (non-cancerous) tumor that arises from the soft connective tissue of joints. Any joint can be affected, although the tumor is most commonly found in the knee or hip joint. Although it can be painful, PVNS usually does not spread. It does, however, have a high rate of recurrence after surgery.

What causes pigmented villonodular synovitis?
The exact cause of PVNS is unknown.

Is pigmented villonodular synovitis common?
PVNS is rare in children and mostly affects young adults.

What are the symptoms of pigmented villonodular synovitis?
While symptoms may vary child-to-child, the most common include:

  • swelling of a joint (usually painless)
  • joint effusion (fluid, usually bloody), in the joint
  • pain (sometimes)
  • sometimes limping or difficulty using legs, arms, hands or fee
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