Synovium is specialized mesenchymal tissue that is essential for the appropriate function of the locomotor apparatus. It is the site for a series of pathologic processes that are characteristic, and in some cases specific, to this distinctive tissue. In this article, the normal microscopic anatomy of synovium is briefly reviewed. Synovial proliferative disorders, including pigmented villonodular synovitis, giant cell tumor of tendon sheath, hemosiderotic synovitis, and fatty infiltration of the synovial membrane are discussed. Additionally, the subjects of intrasynovial cartilaginous lesions (primary and secondary synovial chondromatosis) and crystal deposition diseases are reviewed. Finally, the response of synovial tissues to implanted foreign materials that are used in large and small joint arthroplasty are described.