How Does Genicular Artery Embolization treat knee pain from osteoarthritis?

Nov 28, 2022
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Genicular Artery Embolization(GAE) is a non-surgical treatment to treat chronic knee pain by decreasing some of the blood flow to the inflamed areas. This can stop the cycle of inflammatory factors limiting further joint destruction and reducing knee pain.

GAE is a novel procedure, showing great promise in the treatment of knee pain from arthritis. Compared to steroid injection in the knee it reliably reduces pain and can keep the pain away for years versus months.

It is performed by placing a small catheter (plastic tube) into the artery at the top of the leg and guiding it down to the knee using live x-ray. Images of the knee arteries are then taken that show where there are areas of inflammation that are causing pain. An even tinier catheter is then used to gently reduce the blood flow to these inflamed areas. By reducing some of the extra blood vessels in the inflamed synovium (tissue lining the joint), there is a decrease in the inflammation associated with osteoarthritis. This can help eliminate associated knee pain. Initial trials are very promising for patirnts wuith debilitating knee pain who are not ready or willing to mundergo knee replacecement surgey. While it may not treat the underlying cartilage destruction, this may be an effectual way to manage symptoms. In a recent article published by the Society of Interventional Radiology (SIR), average pain scores decreased from eight out of 10 to 3 out of 10 within the first week. (click here to see full SIR article). This does not stop patients from having knee replalcement in the future.

Genicular Artery Embolization (GAE) is an outpatient procedure that usually takes approximately one hour. It is not painful, and but patients are sedated during the procedure for comfort. Recovery is quick with only minimal limitations for several days after the procedure. Most people return to work the next day.


If you would like to learn more about GAE and whether it might be beneficial for you, please contact us at (212) 991-9991. We'd be glad to set up a phone call to discuss more.