Chronic knee pain affects some 25% of adults, and osteoarthritis (OA) is one of the top causes. Once these symptoms set in, they can interfere with everything from your usual daily activities to your ability to get restful sleep.
If you’re dealing with OA knee pain that won’t ease up through other treatments, consider genicular artery embolization (GAE).
Let’s delve into GAE, including how it helps OA and the benefits to look forward to.
Osteoarthritis of the knee causes the cartilage and surfaces of the joint to become rougher, typically from years of “wear and tear.”
Once OA sets in, your knee can’t move as smoothly as it should. Meanwhile, you may experience periodic knee pain and stiffness that worsens over time. Your knee may also appear swollen and make a creaking or crunching sound with movement.
In some cases, osteoarthritis also causes a fluid-filled lump known as a Baker’s or popliteal cyst at the back of the knee.
Factors that raise your risk for knee OA include:
This form of knee arthritis may also run in families due to a genetic factor.
Genicular artery embolization aims to slow down the progression of osteoarthritis while significantly reducing your pain. During the procedure, Dr. Golowa inserts a thin, hollow tube (catheter) into an artery in your thigh.
He then guides the tube along the artery that supplies blood to your knee’s lining, injecting gel particles. These particles reduce blood flow to those tissues, making way for less pain and inflammation.
The process takes about an hour, and you can expect noticeable results about two weeks later.
Dr. Golowa may recommend genicular artery embolization if you have advanced knee osteoarthritis and earlier treatments, such as oral medication or joint injections, no longer suffice. GAE may also be a good option if you’re not a candidate for traditional surgery.
In general, ideal GAE candidates are 40-80 years old, have no joint deformities, and have moderate to severe osteoarthritis pain. You may not qualify if you smoke, have cancer, have an infection, or seem best suited for knee replacement surgery.
To learn more about genicular artery embolization or to get started with the care you need, call our office or book an appointment with Dr. Golowa through our website today.