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  • Dr Mark Garcia

Genicular Artery Embolization: Minimally Invasive Knee Pain Relief

Updated: Jul 10

Genicular Artery Embolization: Minimally Invasive Knee Pain Relief Procedure

Knee pain can significantly impact your quality of life, limiting your ability to perform daily activities and enjoy favorite hobbies. For those suffering from osteoarthritis and other forms of knee pain, finding effective relief is crucial. Genicular Artery Embolization (GAE) is an innovative, minimally invasive procedure offered by EndoVascular Consultants that provides a promising solution for long-term pain relief.



What is Genicular Artery Embolization?

Genicular Artery Embolization (GAE) is a cutting-edge, minimally invasive procedure designed to reduce knee pain caused by osteoarthritis. The procedure involves using advanced imaging technology to guide the insertion of a small catheter into the arteries supplying the knee. Tiny particles are then injected to block the abnormal blood flow, reducing inflammation and alleviating pain. This outpatient procedure typically allows patients to return home the same day.


Who is a Candidate for Genicular Artery Embolization?

GAE is particularly suited for individuals between the ages of 40 and 80 who suffer from moderate to severe knee pain due to osteoarthritis. Candidates typically have:

  • Moderate to severe knee pain

  • Osteoarthritis based on an x-ray

  • Local knee tenderness

  • Resistance or failure to conservative treatments such as physical therapy, NSAIDs (anti-inflammatory medications), or injections

If you meet these criteria and are seeking a non-surgical alternative to knee replacement, GAE might be the right option for you.


Is Genicular Artery Embolization Better than Knee Replacement?

GAE does not fix or repair osteoarthritis, but rather treats the pain from arthritis. For many patients, GAE offers several advantages as a treatment for arthritis over knee replacement surgery. As a minimally invasive procedure, GAE involves less risk, a shorter recovery period, and fewer complications. While knee replacement surgery can be highly effective, it requires a significant recovery time and carries higher risks associated with major surgery. GAE provides an excellent alternative for those looking to avoid the extensive downtime and potential complications of knee replacement.


How Long Does the Embolization Procedure Take?

The GAE procedure typically takes less than an hour to complete. It is performed under moderate sedation, ensuring that patients remain comfortable throughout the process. After the procedure, patients are monitored for a short period before being discharged to go home the same day. The quick nature of the procedure, combined with its minimally invasive approach, makes GAE an attractive option for many patients.


What is the Success Rate of Genicular Artery Embolization?

Genicular Artery Embolization has shown a high success rate in providing significant pain relief for patients. Studies and patient testimonials indicate that pain scores often drop substantially, with many patients experiencing pain relief from an average of eight to ten out of ten pre-GAE to one to three out of ten within the first week post-treatment. Long-term follow-up data suggests sustained pain relief and improved quality of life for the majority of patients.


What are the Side Effects of Genicular Artery Embolization?

Like any medical procedure, GAE carries some risks, but serious side effects are rare. Common side effects include mild pain or bruising at the catheter insertion site and temporary discomfort in the treated knee. These symptoms typically resolve on their own within a few days. Our team at EndoVascular Consultants takes every precaution to minimize risks and ensure a smooth recovery for all patients.


What are the Post-Op Instructions for Genicular Artery Embolization?

After the GAE procedure, patients are provided with detailed post-op care instructions to ensure a smooth and successful recovery. These instructions typically include:

  • Icing the knee for 24 hrs. 

  • Resting and avoiding strenuous activities for 2 days

  • Keeping the catheter insertion site clean and dry

  • Taking prescribed medications to manage any discomfort

  • Attending follow-up appointments to monitor progress

Patients are encouraged to gradually resume normal activities as tolerated, with most able to return to their daily routines within a week.


Contact EndoVascular Consultants for More Info

If you’re tired of living with knee pain and are looking for a minimally invasive solution, Genicular Artery Embolization might be the right choice for you. Contact EndoVascular Consultants today to learn more about this innovative procedure and schedule your consultation. Our team of experts is ready to help you take the first step towards a pain-free life.


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