SYNDROME
SYPHILIS, NONVENEREAL
Syndactyly is often inherited and is more
common in males. In mild cases, the
affected fingers or toes are joined only
by a web of skin. In more serious cases,
the bones of adjacent digits are fused.
Surgery to separate the affected digits
may be performed in early childhood,
syndrome A group of symptoms and/or
signs that, occurring together, consti-
tutes a particular disorder,
synovectomy Surgical removal of the
membrane lining a joint capsule to treat
recurrent or persistent
s^movitis,
usually
due to severe
rheumatoid arthritis.
synovitis Inflammation of the membrane
lining a joint capsule. The condition
may be
acute,
in which case it is usually
caused by an attack of arthritis, injury,
or infection; or
chronic,
as in a disorder
such as
rheumatoid arthritis.
The affec-
ted joint becomes swollen, painful, and
often warm and red. To find the cause,
joint aspiration or
biopsy
may be needed.
Symptoms are relieved by rest, sup-
porting the joint with a splint or cast,
analgesics, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory
drugs,
and, occasionally, a
corticosteroid
injection. Chronic synovitis may be trea-
ted by
synovectomy.
synovium A membrane that lines the
capsule surrounding a movable
joint.
TYPICAL JOINT
The synovium also forms a sheath for
certain tendons of the hands and feet.
The membrane secretes synovial fluid,
which lubricates the joint or tendon. The
synovium can become inflamed; in a
joint this is known as
s^movitis,
in a ten-
don sheath it is known as
tenos^movitis.
syphilis An infection caused by
t r e p o n -
e m a
p a l l id u m
bacteria
and
spread
through sexual intercourse or other inti-
mate body contact, or, less commonly,
from mother to fetus during pregnancy.
Following sexual infection, the organ-
ism spreads rapidly via the bloodstream
and lymphatic system. The first symptom
is a sore (chancre) that appears on the
genitals, anus, rectum, lips, throat, or
fingers and heals in 4-8 weeks. A rash
then develops, which may be transient,
recurrent, or may last for months. Other
possible symptoms include lymph node
enlargement, headache, bone pain, loss
of appetite, fever, and fatigue. Thickened,
grey or pink patches may develop on
moist areas of skin and are highly infec-
tious. Meningitis may also develop.
Following this symptomatic phase, the
disease becomes latent for a few years,
or sometimes indefinitely. A few untrea-
ted cases proceed, eventually, to a final
stage characterized by widespread tissue
destruction. This may be accompanied
by cardiovascular syphilis, which affects
the aorta and leads to
aneurysm
and
heart-valve
disease;
neurosj/philis
, with
progressive brain damage and paralysis;
and
tabes dorsalis
of the spinal cord.
Signs of congenital infection include a
rash, persistent snuffles, bone abnorma-
lities, jaundice, and enlargement of the
liver and spleen.
Keratitis,
arthritis, a
characteristic flat face, peg-shaped teeth,
and mental handicap may appear later
in childhood.
Diagnosis is by examination of chancre
serum or by blood tests. All forms of
syphilis are treated with
antibacterial
drugs.
Organ damage already caused by
the disease cannot be reversed.
Practising
safer sex
can help to prevent
syphilis infection. People with syphilis
are infectious in the early stages but
not in the latent and final stages,
syphilis, nonvenereal An infection due
to
t r e p o n e m a p a l l id u m
bacteria that is
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