Genicular Artery Embolization for Knee Pain

Genicular Artery Embolization for Knee Pain 645d549612625.png

Genicular Artery Embolization for Knee Pain

Here at MidAtlantic Vascular and Interventional, we are excited to offer a solution to osteoarthritic knee pain – called Genicular Artery Embolization.

Let’s look a little further into what GAE is, and what to expect before, during, and after the procedure.

GAE is a minimally invasive procedure that offers highly effective and long-lasting relief of the pain caused by osteoarthritis in the knee. Most of the pain of osteoarthritis is from inflammation caused by abnormal blood vessels that develop in the lining of the joint, known as the synovium. GAE is able to fix this issue by blocking these abnormal blood vessels, thus relieving inflammation and pain.

Genicular artery embolization is performed by our highly-skilled Interventional Radiologist, who will begin by inserting a small catheter into a needle-size puncture in the leg. Then, using x-ray technology and other imaging modalities, the doctor will guide the catheter into the blood vessel that supplies the joint. Next, tiny microsphere particles are slowly released through the catheter and into the artery which supplies blood flow to the abnormal vessels.

These particles create a blockage, and in doing so, reduce the inflammation and corresponding pain associated with knee osteoarthritis. , which slows blood flow to the joint, and thus reduces inflammation and pain.

Unlike the estimated 800,000 knee replacement surgeries performed each year in the US, GAE is a non-invasive outpatient procedure. The entire procedure usually takes around 2 hours to complete, and does not require general anesthesia but instead uses conscious sedation through an IV and a numbing anesthetic at the fold of the knee.

Given that there is no incision to heal or stitches to be removed, the risk of bleeding and other complications is much lower than with invasive surgery.  Even better, patients who undergo GAE have consistently reported a significant reduction in pain scores and in the use of pain medications. And- they also have reported a significant increase in flexibility, mobility, and overall functionality of the knee.

Not only is the recovery from GAE faster than the surgical methods of resolving osteoarthritis, but its improvements are experienced quickly. In fact, in most cases, relief begins to occur within two weeks.

As for the long-term effects of GAE,  data from clinical studies performed in the last 10 years has shown that GAE may provide lasting pain relief and functional improvement for some patients, however, initial results point toward durability of response between six and 24 months. Patients should work with their physician on the direction of their future treatment if any pain returns.  However, each case is different.

The bottom line is, GAE works. It really does.

So, instead of spending months recovering from invasive knee surgery, call us and see if GAE is right for you. And we can have you feeling better, walking better, and even looking better in no time.

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