Knee PVNS Doctor

Have you been diagnosed with PVNS? Pigmented villonodular synovitis or PVNS of the knee is a condition which can cause knee pain and stiffness. If you have PVNS, it is important to see an orthopedic surgeon who specializes in the treatment and care of this rare condition. PVNS surgeon Doctor Riley J. Williams provides diagnosis as well as surgical and nonsurgical treatment options for patients in Manhattan and New York City, NY who have been diagnosed with this  knee condition. Contact Dr. Williams’ team today!

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What is knee arthroscopy removal of PVNS lesions?

Pigmented Villonodular Synovitis (PVNS) is a benign condition of the joint lining (synovium) that can results in mechanical symptoms, pain and inflammation. The knee joint commonly affected by PVNS. Knee arthroscopy to remove a PVNS lesion is a procedure that utilizes small surgical tools, and a camera called an arthroscope to remove the mass and abnormal tissue. The cause of Pigmented villonodular synovitis is unknown. The layer of tissue that lines tendons and joints, most commonly in and around the knee, overgrows, causing a lesion or tumor. PVNS can  be diffuse or localized. Diffuse PVNS is more widespread within the joint and more challenging to treat. Surgery for diffuse PVNS involves the use arthroscopic instruments to meticulously remove the damaged synovial (joint) lining. Localized PVNS usually occurs in one area of the joint. PVNS is a challenging knee condition; patient should seek experienced surgeons when dealing with this particular diagnosis. Dr. Riley J. Williams, orthopedic knee surgeon, serving Manhattan, New York City and the surrounding New York boroughs, has extensive experience in performing knee arthroscopy removal of PVNS lesion procedures.

Why is knee arthroscopy removal of PVNS lesion performed?

Synovium is the joint lining and produces synovial fluid which lubricates the joint and enables smooth pain free motion. If an individual suffers from PVNS, he or she experiences an excess of synovial fluid, and chronic swelling. The synovium overgrows and thickens. This causes swelling, stiffness, and dysfunction. Knee arthroscopy is used to remove the abnormal synovium and to repair any observed damage. The procedure is done arthroscopically if the PVNS lesion is exists within the knee joint. Arthroscopy is done with the use of small surgical instruments and an arthroscope that projects images of the knee onto a monitor. If the PVNS lesion exists outside of the joint space, an open surgical approach may be necessary to effectively remove the abnormal tissue. Most cases of PVNS occur in the knee but can also afflict other joints. This progressive disease can cause bone damage and arthritis.

How is knee arthroscopy removal of PVNS lesion performed?

Many cases of pigmented villonodular synovitis (PVNS), lesion removal are done arthroscopically. Light sedation with regional anesthesia is typically used in these cases. Dr. Williams makes small incisions around the knee to insert the arthroscope and surgical tools. Images of the knee are displayed on a monitor in the operating room. Dr. Williams assess the entirety of the joint to fully grasp the extent of the disease and to confirm the accuracy of preoperative imaging studies. Arthroscopic tools are used to remove all visually confirmable diseased tissue. Arthroscopic surgery can be performed for both localized and diffuse PVNS.

What are the risks of pigmented villonodular synovitis surgery?

For the treatment of intraarticular disease, knee arthroscopy is preferred when performing removal of PVNS lesions. Risks and complications are still possible with this complicated procedure; open procedures may be needed though in more extensive cases. The goals is the removal of as much of the lesion as possible. An individual may continue to experience pain, stiffness, swelling, limited mobility as well as popping, catching or locking of the knee. Although rare, localized PVNS can come back after surgery. The chance of diffuse PVNS to recur is typically around 10 percent but can be as high as 30 percent.

How long does it take to recover from PVNS surgery?

An individual can expect recovery to take a minimum of six weeks; a full recovery may take several months depending on the severity of PVNS disease. Physical therapy is important to regain mobility and strength in surrounding muscles. Most patients will be able to return to normal sports and activities within a few months of knee arthroscopy with the removal PVNS lesion.

For additional resources on knee arthroscopy with removal of PVNS lesions or to have your knee pain evaluated, please contact the office of Dr. Riley J. Williams, MD, orthopedic knee surgeon serving Manhattan, New York City, and the surrounding New York boroughs.