Radiosynoviorthesis (RSO)

The RSO is a nuclear medicine therapy for the local treatment of painful inflammatory joint diseases (e.g. arthritis, rheumatic fever, painful osteoarthritis). It is successfully used for over 20 years to treat pain.

When is a synovectomy performed?

The RSO is used for painful joint diseases. These include primarily the classical inflammatory rheumatic diseases (e.g. rheumatoid arthritis) and inflammatory joint disease (activated osteoarthritis).

Following is an overview of the most common applications of radiation synovectomy:

  • Activated osteoarthritis (a painful, inflammatory joint disease)
  • Chronic polyarthritis (rheumatoid arthritis)
  • Psoriatic arthritis (psoriasis with inflammatory joint involvement)
  • Joint effusion ("water in the joints") and effusions after previous joint surgery
  • Chronic irritation after implantation of a total endoprosthesis (TEP, artificial joint)
  • Inflammatory joint examinations with rheumatoid arthritis, hemophilia (hemophilia)
  • villonodular synovitis

Whether a synovectomy is appropriate or indicated in your case, will be reviewed as part of a detailed preliminary examination in our practice.

Which joints can be treated by a RSO?

In our practice, we can perform synovectomy on all joints outside of the spine. A prerequisite are that the joint to be treated can be reached with a puncture needle and a sufficient amount of radioactive liquid (radionuclide) can be placed into the joint itself, i.e. can be placed in the capsule (hinge sleeve).

Upper extremities:

Shoulder joint

  • Acromioclavicular joint (shoulder-corner hinge)
  • Elbow joint
  • Wrist and carpus
  • Metatarsophalangeal joints
  • Proximal interphalangeal joints
  • Distal interphalangeal
  • Carpometacarpal joint
  • midcarpal joint

Lower limbs:

  • Hip
  • Knee
  • Ankle
  • Subtalar
  • Cuneonavicular Joint
  • Calcaneocuboid Joint
  • Tarsus and hock joints
  • Toe joints (especially the metatarsophalangeal joints)


  • Sternoclavicular joint between sternum and clavicle

How is a synovectomy performed?

The RSO can be an outpatient procedure performed in our practice. The radioactive source is ordered for you in France and can be delivered only on certain days (Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday).

Request an Appointment

You may request an appointment either via telephone or our contact form.

+49 (0)221 / 924 24 340Contact form