Pigmented Villonodular Synovitis (PVNS): Symptoms & Signs

Medically Reviewed on 1/2/2020

Pigmented villonodular synovitis (PVNS) is a condition characterized by thickening and overgrowth of the normal lining tissue of joints (known as synovium). PVNS is not a cancer and does not spread outside the joint. It mostly affects the knee joint but can involve other joints. Pigmented villonodular synovitis is a progressive condition that worsens over time.

Signs and symptoms associated with pigmented villonodular synovitis include joint pain, swelling of the joint, and difficulty moving the affected joint, possibly leading to joint instability or joint stiffness. Typically, PVNS involves only one joint. Other symptoms can include locking or catching of the affected joint. The symptoms may come and go over time.

Cause of pigmented villonodular synovitis

The cause of PVNS is unknown.

Other pigmented villonodular synovitis symptoms and sign

  • Difficulty Moving the Affected Joint
  • Joint Instability
  • Joint Pain
  • Joint Stiffness
  • Limitation of Movement
  • Locking of the Joint
  • Swollen Joints


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United States. Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center. "Pigmented Villonodular Synovitis." Nov. 14, 2017. .