Genicular Artery Embolization

Surgery Is Not Your Only Option

Genicular artery embolization (GAE) is a novel minimally invasive procedure providing immediate and longterm pain relief for patients with osteoarthritis (OA) of the knee. The pain experienced by patients with osteoarthritis is due to abnormal blood vessels supplying the lining of the knee joint and contributing to ongoing inflammation. The procedure works by blocking these abnormal blood vessels, causing the inflammation to subside.

How Does GAE Work?

GAE begins with the insertion of a tiny tube, or catheter, in the artery in the groin. No incision is made. Instead, the catheter is inserted through a pinhole made in the skin, approximately the width of the tip of a pencil.  Using specialized X-ray equipment, the physician passes an even smaller flexible catheter into small arteries called the genicular arteries. Small inert spherical particles are carefully injected into the abnormal arteries contributing to inflammation in the knee. Normal blood flow to the knee joint is preserved.

Once treated, the catheters are removed and a Band-Aid® is applied. The entire GAE treatment typically lasts less than 1 hour. Patients return home the same day. After 1-2 days of rest, patients can return to work and normal activities.

Patients who have undergone GAE have reported significant reduction in pain and improvement in function during day-to-day activities. The pain improvement can be sustained for several months to years and prevent the need for knee replacement surgery.

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