Genicular Artery Embolization (GAE)
a minimally invasive treatment option for knee osteoarthritis
or call us at 817.321.0951
What is knee osteoarthritis, and what causes it?
Knee cartilage is a tough, rubbery tissue on the ends of the bones within the knee that allows the joint to bend and move. Over time, this cartilage can wear out or become damaged. As it does, the bones in the knee joint rub together, causing friction that results in inflammation and subsequent knee pain, stiffness, and swelling.
New research shows that there is a component of low-grade inflammation of the adjacent synovium (the lining of the knee joint), enabling the growth of sensory nerve fibers that cause pain. Some possible causes of this condition include obesity, prior injury, overuse, and family history.
Knee osteoarthritis is common, affecting 46% of all people within their lifetime.
What are treatment options for knee osteoarthritis?
Those with mild osteoarthritis symptoms may be treated with medication, supplements, or lifestyle changes. For some, physical therapy or support braces may be prescribed. Total knee replacement surgery is often recommended for others with more severe symptoms.
Patients who do not wish to or cannot have surgery may receive steroid or hyaluronic acid knee joint injections. These can last for up to several months, but the pain may then resurface. They may become less effective over time.
That being said, a newer, minimally invasive treatment option called genicular artery embolization is growing in popularity.
What is GAE?
Genicular Artery Embolization is a minimally invasive procedure performed by an interventional radiologist who inserts a tiny catheter into an artery in your upper thigh or wrist and then uses imaging to guide it through the body’s blood vessels to the arteries that supply blood to the synovium of the knee. Tiny particles are injected through the catheter into these arteries to reduce the flow of blood. The result is a significant reduction in the inflammation associated with osteoarthritis and a reduction in pain.
A clinical study performed in 2021 demonstrated that the average pain scores decreased from 8 out of 10 to 3 out of 10 within the first week of the procedure.
How do I know if I am a good candidate for GAE?
Genicular Artery Embolization is recommended for patients who:
• Have mild to moderate knee pain
• Are diagnosed with osteoarthritis based on X-RAY or other imaging
• Experience local knee tenderness
• Have pain resistant to conservative treatment (medication, physical therapy, joint injections)
If you believe you are a candidate for GAE, contact us for next steps and a referral to Vascular & Interventional Specialists by clicking on the Request a Consultation below or giving us a call at 817.321.0951. We would love to connect with you and discuss how we might be able to care for you.
Request a Consultation
or call us at 817.321.0951