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Low-Dose Radiation Therapy for Osteoarthritis

Managing pain with osteoarthritis can be a challenge. For some osteoarthritis patients, low-dose radiation therapy (LD-RT) may be used for pain management as an alternative treatment after other methods have not worked.

When given at a lower dosage, radiation therapy has powerful anti-inflammatory properties and can be used to treat a variety of painful musculoskeletal conditions. LD-RT can be used to manage pain in the hands, fingers, knees, hips, ankles, shoulders, and spine.1

How is Low-Dose Radiation Therapy Given?

LD-RT is administered by a radiation machine in six to eight treatment sessions given either every other day or twice a week over the course of two to three weeks. Each treatment takes less than 10 minutes, and multiple joints can be treated in the same session.

Does Low-Dose Radiation Therapy Have Side Effects?

LD-RT is painless, and a long-term study of patients receiving the treatment found no acute or late side effects.2

How Much Pain Relief Can Patients Expect? How Long Does Pain Relief Last?

Studies show a pain improvement rate of over 70 percent after the initial set of treatments, and most patients reported lasting pain relief two years after beginning LD-RT.

1 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC10674008/
2 https://www.redjournal.org/article/S0360-3016(22)00357-1/fulltext/

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