Synovial thickening is a vital clinical finding. It indicates primary inflammation of the synovia and differentiates this from a secondary synovitis. Synovial swelling is best detected at the medial and lateral condyles of the femur, about 2 cm posterior to the medial and lateral edges of the patella.
Here the capsule lies almost superficially, covered only by skin and subcutaneous fat. It is palpated by rolling the structures between fingertip and bone. Normally nothing except skin can be felt. In synovial thickening, a dense structure can be felt.
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