Geniculate Artery Embolization
Many Americans suffer from knee pain from osteoarthritis (OA) or degenerative joint disease (DJD). Geniculate artery embolization (GAE) is a new minimally invasive, outpatient treatment option able to give up to 90% of patients significant improvement in their knee pain.
- Pain in the knee joint during or after movement
- Joint stiffness worse in the mornings or inactivity
- Loss of flexibility
- Grating sensation
- Bone spurs
Treatment options include pain medicines, steroid injections, physical therapy, surgery, and Genicular Artery Embolization (GAE). Physical therapy is the standard treatment for knee pain. Because of opioid dependence and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID) toxicity with prolonged use, patients often do not want to rely on long-term medication therapy options. Steroid injections can provide temporary relief for months. For those patients not ready for a major surgery like knee replacement, GAE is a minimally invasive, outpatient procedure that can offer longer term pain relief and decrease pain medication or injection needs.
Geniculate Artery Embolization (GAE) Procedure
GAE is a minimally invasive procedure to slow blood flow to abnormally inflamed blood vessels of the knee from osteoarthritis (OA). The inflammation causes pain related to synovial angiogenesis, the formation of new arteries in the lining of the knee. By blocking the blood flow, the inflammation is reduced and 90% of patients demonstrate improvement in their knee pain.
What to expect on treatment day
Geniculate artery embolization is performed at our VIP clinic as an outpatient procedure.
To perform the procedure, the interventional radiologist advances a small catheter under x-ray guidance, while the patient is under moderate sedation, into the affected geniculate arteries of the knee through a small needle stick. Next, small particles are injected into the inflamed capillaries to create a blockage called embolization, while sparing the blood flow to the knee and lower leg. Patients are discharged a few hours later and begin to feel relief from knee pain over the next couple of weeks.
GAE is a minimally invasive, quick procedure with a short recovery and offering significant pain relief.
VIP is the first outpatient facility in Indiana to provide this minimally invasive therapy option in an outpatient clinic model.