The synovium, or synovial membrane, is an important component of any synovial joint in the body. The synovium is found inside the joint capsule, where it secretes the lubricating synovial fluid that reduces friction between cartilage. Excess wear-and-tear on cartilage can lead to osteoarthritis.
Rheumatoid arthritis is a disease that is characterized by the painful swelling and inflammation of the synovial membrane. As the synovium swells, the body’s immune system reacts by releasing enzymes that errantly damage the cartilage and bone, leading to further joint pain.
Cortisone injections and anti-inflammatory medication can help with the swelling of the synovium. A surgical procedure known as a synovectomy can be performed to completely remove a synovium affected by inflammation.