What is Yttrium-90 Radiosynovectomy Therapy?
Yttrium-90 Radiosynovectomy Therapy is a treatment for painful joints caused by arthritis or other types of joint diseases. It aims to destroy specific tissue that causes redness and swelling, often alleviating severe pain experienced by sufferers of joint disease.
How Does Yttrium-90 Radiosynovectomy Therapy Work?
Inflammation is a protective response that increases blood and fluids in a particular area causing redness and swelling in tissues and joints. The pain associated with inflammation is primarily due to a large amount of fluid build up in a small area. The fluid that lubricates the joints and allows them to move freely is produced by the synovial membrane. Synovitis is the inflammation of the synovial membrane, and is a symptom of certain types of arthritis or joint diseases. Severe pain associated with synovitis can be treated with Yttrium-90 Radiosynovectomy Therapy. This treatment utilizes Yttrium-90, an isotope emitting beta radiation, to destroy painful tissue and stop fluid secretion, reducing joint inflammation. Yttrium-90 is injected into the joint cavity, and the radiation emitted destroys the diseased area over one month. The synovium is eventually replaced by the body and the new synovium is disease and pain free.
Is this Treatment Safe?
The radiation used in Yttrium-90 Radiosynovectomy therapy has a very high energy level, which makes it very destructive. Due to the nature of this radiation, it only travels very short distances, ensuring that damage to healthy tissue is kept to a minimum. Yttrium-90 Radiosynovectomy Therapy is effective in destroying unhealthy tissue; however, patients may experience minor side effects. A rare potential side effect is radiation dermatitis, a skin reaction to the radiation used. Another extremely rare complication is septic arthritis, where the joint becomes infected. These side effects are minimized by using particular injection techniques.
When Would I Consider Using this Treatment?
Yttrium-90 Radiosynovectomy Therapy is used on patients experiencing severe joint pain due to arthritis, or other types of joint disease. It is often used as an alternative to surgery, where the synovium removed. Surgery can be expensive, result in long recovery time and has a higher possibility of complications. Yttrium-90 Radiosynovectomy Therapy is an alternative for patients with medical conditions, such as heart problems, that deem them unsuitable for surgery.
For more information, Download a copy of our Yttrium-90 Radiosynovectomy Therapy Patient Information Guide (PDF).