Osteoarthritis – frequent diagnosis in old age
Osteoarthritis is a degenerative joint disease. The reasons for wear and tear of the joints can be manifold: genetic disposition, overload or incorrect load, injuries or age-related wear and tear. First, the joint cartilage wears away irreparably, whereupon the remaining cartilage and eventually the bone become inflamed. As the disease progresses, pain increases and joint mobility decreases.
approx. 20 %
Source: “Dt. Arthrosis-Help/arthrose.de
Where can you have osteoarthritis treated in Munich?
Osteoarthritis is not curable. Nevertheless, inflammation and pain can be treated effectively. Basically, all peripheral joint problems in the shoulder, hand, hip, spine, as well as in the foot, knee and elbow can be treated in a similar way. Our team of specialists at Radiologie München will be happy to take care of a treatment plan tailored to your individual needs.
Choose one of our locations and discuss everything with our specialists.
How is osteoarthritis treated?
The goal of treating osteoarthritis, regardless of the region, is to reduce pain. It also aims to slow down wear and tear on joints and maintain their mobility.
Various therapeutic methods are available for this purpose, which are useful depending on the stage of the disease. These include physical exercise, relief of joint stress (e.g.: through weight loss), light and heat treatment, medications, and surgery. In addition to these conservative treatment methods, radiation therapy can also be an effective way to treat osteoarthritis.
InX-ray stimulation irradiation, the affected body region is irradiated from the outside (percutaneously). In this procedure, a linear accelerator focuses the beams on the painful and inflamed area. In this way, the healthy tissue is optimally protected.
X-ray stimulation irradiation aims to inhibit the inflammatory processes in the joint. The inflamed cells are broken down and removed. The responsible pain messengers can be suppressed or reduced by the treatment. In this way, a pain-reducing effect can be achieved in the long term.
Radiosynoviorthesisinvolves injecting a radioactive drug (β-emitter) into the affected joint. There, the drug distributes in the joint mucosa and emits the anti-inflammatory rays.
Fine tubules leading inflammatory fluid into the joint are closed and painful nerve endings are deactivated. As a result, pain and swelling in the joint are reduced and the function and mobility of the joint are improved again. Since the effect is comparable to X-ray stimulation therapy, but much more stressful due to the injection, we recommend X-ray stimulation therapy.
What do you need to pay attention to before, during and after treatment?
Once osteoarthritis has been diagnosed in the joint, the doctor draws up a treatment plan in consultation with the patient. For this purpose, the physician informs the patient about the individual forms of treatment, because depending on the stage of the disease, different therapies may be considered for the patient. If conservative treatment methods do not alleviate the pain or if the mobility of the joint is already significantly limited, radiation therapy may achieve better results. Here, too, your doctor will inform you in advance about the content and timing of the individual therapy sessions and about possible side effects.
Radiation therapy for osteoarthritis takes place on an outpatient basis. The on-site medical staff informs the patient about the exact procedure of the treatment and sets the right radiation dose for the treatment. Several units are usually necessary for the treatment.
Once radiation therapy has been successfully completed, follow-up examinations are useful. At these appointments, the doctor can check if the treatment was successful. If pain persists or joint mobility has not improved, the physician may indicate another series of therapy in consultation with the patient.
What are the side effects of osteoarthritis treatment?
Both X-ray stimulation irradiation and radiosynoviorthesis use only low-dose radiation. The radiation dose is much lower in the treatment of osteoarthritis than in tumor control. Therefore, practically no side effects are observed.
During X-ray stimulation irradiation, patients experience a slightly increased sensitivity to pain in rare cases. Some note minimal skin redness or skin dryness in the irradiation field.