How Genicular Artery Embolization Treats Osteoarthritis

In the healthcare realm, breakthroughs tend to change the landscape of treatment options. There is a ground-breaking technique known as Genicular Artery Embolization (GAE) which has been getting attention due to its potential for treating osteoarthritis, a painful and disabling condition that affects millions of people worldwide.

What is Osteoarthritis?

Osteoarthritis causes pain, stiffness and loss of movement due to the degeneration of joint cartilage and the bone beneath it. Common approaches have been centered on managing knee pain and lifestyle changes. However, when conservative measures are no longer effective, GAE serves as an excellent, non-surgical option. 

How does GAE work?

During this minimally invasive procedure, an interventional radiologist will make a tiny nick in the skin. They’ll then inject tiny particles into the genicular arteries that supply blood to the knee joint. These particles block or restrict the blood flow to the knee, which reduces inflammation and pain.

GAE Advantages

The number one advantage of GAE is its minimally invasive nature. Traditional treatments for osteoarthritis frequently revolve around surgical procedures, which come with inherent risks and extended recovery time. GAE, alternatively, is performed using only a small nick in the skin and a catheter, decreasing the risks related to surgical interventions and resulting in faster healing.

The technique begins with the insertion of a catheter into the femoral artery, guided to the genicular arteries using imaging techniques like ultrasound. Once in place, embolic agents are added to cut off the blood supply to the genicular arteries, addressing the foundation cause of inflammation in the knee joint.

Studies have shown promising outcomes regarding the effectiveness of GAE in reducing pain and improving function for osteoarthritis sufferers. GAE gives a unique and targeted healing alternative for folks who might not find relief with traditional procedures.

NG Vascular & Vein Center performs GAE procedures in an outpatient setting. We have three locations in Munster, Indiana; Merrillville, Indiana; and Palos Heights, Illinois. Call any of our locations to schedule a consultation for GAE.

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