Plant Thorn Arthritis (Plant Thorn Synovitis or Thorn Arthritis)

  • Medical Author:
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

  • Medical Editor: Catherine Burt Driver, MD
    Catherine Burt Driver, MD

    Catherine Burt Driver, MD

    Catherine Burt Driver, MD, is board certified in internal medicine and rheumatology by the American Board of Internal Medicine. Dr. Driver is a member of the American College of Rheumatology. She currently is in active practice in the field of rheumatology in Mission Viejo, Calif., where she is a partner in Mission Internal Medical Group.

What is the prognosis of plant thorn arthritis?

Once a synovectomy for plant thorn arthritis has been performed, the joint tends to heal well without residual problems. The sooner the synovectomy is performed, the better the outcome as chronic joint inflammation can risk damage to cartilage of the joint. Physical therapy rehabilitation exercises can be helpful to restore normal joint function.

Is it possible to prevent plant thorn arthritis?

Plant thorn arthritis can be prevented by avoiding exposure to the thorns of plants. It can help to wear protective clothing, gloves, etc., as well as being cautious when near or working with thorny plants.


Stevens, K.J., et. al. "Imaging of Plant-Thorn Synovitis." Skeletal Radiol 29 (2000): 605-608.

Sugarman, M., D.G. Stobie, F.P. Quismorio, R. Terry, and V. Hanson. "Plant Thorn Synovitis." Arthritis Rheum 20.5 June 1977: 1125-1128.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 8/2/2016

Subscribe to MedicineNet's Arthritis Newsletter

By clicking Submit, I agree to the MedicineNet's Terms & Conditions & Privacy Policy and understand that I may opt out of MedicineNet's subscriptions at any time.

Health Solutions From Our Sponsors