Genicular Artery Embolization (GAE)
Non-surgical treatment for chronic knee pain
What is Genicular Artery Embolization?
It is a minimally invasive procedure for reducing knee pain for patients with osteoarthritis. This non-surgical alternative is performed in an outpatient setting by an Interventional Radiologist who specializes in using fluoroscopy (a type of x-ray) to diagnose and treat the troubling area.
The genicular arteries are a group of blood vessels around the knee which become inflamed and painful when patients develop chronic osteoarthritis.
The procedure is intended to reduce the inflammation to these areas around the knee and thus reducing the pain.
Though the procedure does not cure osteoarthritis, the goal of GAE is to reduce the patients knee pain and therefore reducing the use of opiods and pain killers as well as injections. Improving mobility and therefore the patient’s quality of life.
Osteoarthritis and Knee Pain
Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis and is caused by the cartilage of the joint being worn down over time or trauma. It is most common in the knees, hips, hands, and spine. It cannot be reversed. As a result there is chronic inflammation around the joint. However, there are some treatments available to help improve joint function or reduce pain.
Over 30 million people in the US have osteoarthritis, also known as degenerative joint disease. The risk of developing osteoarthritis increases with overuse of the joint, injury to the joint, age, and obesity. Women are more likely to develop osteoarthritis and genetics can indicate increased risk for osteoarthritis.
How Does GAE Work?
This a minimally invasive procedure performed with local anesthetic and moderate sedation. Typically takes 1-2 hours to perform and the patient goes home after a 2-4 hour recovery time.
Using ultrasound the physician places a small catheter (size of a spaghetti noodle) in the artery in the patient’s groin. Then using x-ray guidance the catheter is navigated into the artery with inflammation.
Tiny bead like particles are injected into the inflamed artery to reduce the blood flow and subsequently reduce the inflammation which will then reduce the pain.
Are You A Candidate for GAE?
- History of osteoarthritis (OA) of the knee
- Degenerative joint disease (DJD)
- Pain in one or both knees at rest or walking
- Stiffness in your knees when waking up
- Failed previous treatments such as knee injections and physical therapy.
Have questions about Genicular Artery Embolization with Georgia Vascular Institute? Call us today or click the link for an appointment!