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Radiosynoviorthesis (RSO)

Radiosynoviorthesis is a therapy that can be mostly applied for treating agonising pain in case of polyarthritis. 3 percent of all Germansuffer from this kind of joint inflammation.

Radiosynoviorthesis involves obliteration of the inner skin of the diseased joint by means of radiation. In most cases, this method can add to the effect of medications, but does not replace them. 

Areas of application

  • rheumatic diseases: polyarthritis, Bechterew's disease, arthritis in case of psoriasis
  • various arthroses
  • haemarthros in case of haemophilia


  • The success rate is high. With polyarthritis, it is 80 percent. Many patients report having a better quality of life and less pain. However, with activated arthrosis of the knee joint and simultaneous malposition of the leg, the success rate is lower.
  • The intervention is minimal: the radioactive substance is injected into the joint by means of a syringe.
  • If the desired effect has not been achieved, the therapy can be repeated.
  • The radiation exposure is low and restricted to the treated joint.
  • The joints affected should not be punctured repeatedly. Each injection bears at least a small risk of infection.

How is the examination performed?

A radioactive isotope of the selected element is injected into the inflamed joint. Radioisotopes are atoms with unstable nuclei. The nuclei disintegrate, at the same time emitting radioactive radiation. The short half-life of the isotopes applied ensures that there will not remain any radioactive substances in the body after a short time. The maximum range of radiation is just a few millimetres. In this way, the ray reach almost exclusively the diseased joint mucosa.

What should you pay attention to?

  • A temporary swelling or overheating of the treated joint may occur in some individual cases
  • There have been some (few) reports  about radiation necroses - when a healthy tissue die due to irradiation
  • The treatment with irradiation cannot be carried out in pregnant or breast-feeding patients

zuletzt geändert am: 16.12.2021

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