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Genicular Artery Embolization

Knee pain is one of the most common reasons patients seek medical treatment. In fact, knee pain can affect people of all ages for a variety of reasons. While younger people might develop knee pain from a sports injury, older people may develop knee pain from osteoarthritis.

What Is Genicular Artery Embolization?

Genicular artery embolization, also known as GAE, is a minimally invasive procedure that offers immediate pain relief from osteoarthritis. GAE works by reducing blood flow to the knee, specifically, to the synovium.

Over time, osteoarthritis can cause erosion of bone, causing pain and stiffness with movement. During GAE, patients are usually given twilight sedation to keep them comfortable. The interventional radiologist inserts a special catheter into the upper thigh and then uses X-rays to gently guide the catheter into the artery that supplies blood to the knee. Tiny patches designed to block blood flow are then injected, which reduces blood supply.

What Happens After the Procedure?

After GAE, patients are monitored for a short period to ensure they are okay to go home. Pain relief usually starts within two weeks after the procedure. However, some patients may experience pain relief sooner than others.

Ideal Candidates for GAE?

Patients experiencing chronic knee pain from osteoarthritis are ideal candidates for GAE. In addition, they may not have responded to other treatment modalities, such as corticosteroid injections, pain relievers, and physical therapy.

Other criteria for candidacy include:

  • Between the ages of 40 to 80 years old.
  • Suffer from moderate to severe pain.
  • Have a definitive diagnosis of osteoarthritis without bone loss.
  • Chronic localized knee tenderness.

Patients who suffer from the following conditions may not qualify for GAE:

  • Are active smokers or have a previous history of tobacco use.
  • Have radiographic evidence of severe osteoarthritis.
  • Diagnosed with cancer or an ongoing infection.
  • Are considered a candidate for knee replacement.


How Safe Is Geniculate Artery Embolization?

GAE is a safe, minimally invasive procedure when performed by an experienced medical professional. It is much safer with fewer risks of side effects when compared with invasive knee surgery.

Is There a Recovery Period?

Similar to other interventions, recovery times will vary. Some patients may experience temporary tenderness at the injection site. However, many patients report a decrease in their symptoms a few weeks after the procedure.

What Are the Side Effects?

Some of the most common side effects of GAE are temporary pain and swelling at the injection site. Other complications, although rare, include infection, blood clots, and possible damage to surrounding vascular structures.

Schedule Your GAE Consultation Today

If you have been suffering from chronic knee pain caused by osteoarthritis, the experienced physicians at The Minimally Invasive Vascular Center in Laurel, MD are here to help. To learn more contact the office at 855-6482.


Schedule a Visit with a Vascular Specialist

At Minimally Invasive Vascular Center in Laurel MD, your care and treatment is our top priority. If you any questions or concerns and would like meet with a consultant, please call us at (855) 803-6482 or contact us with your information. We look forward to providing you with the best solutions for your vascular needs.

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9201 Cherry Lane
Laurel, MD 20708

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Friday: 9am – 1pm
Saturday – Sunday: Closed

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