Genicular Artery Embolization

A novel knee pain treatment

More than 1 in 3 Americans over 60 have knee osteoarthritis, and 40% of them have bothersome symptoms such as pain and limited range of motion. Genicular artery embolization is a minimally invasive procedure that alleviates chronic knee pain caused by osteoarthritis or degenerative joint disease. For many, it is a viable alternative to total knee replacement surgery, and if performed early enough, may help you avoid knee surgery down the road.

Genicular Artery Embolization for knee pain relief

What is genicular artery embolization (GAE)?

GAE is a non-surgical medical procedure performed in our outpatient center. Our very own interventional radiologist, Dr. Golewale, uses a tiny catheter, inserted into the femoral artery in the thigh, which is then advanced using medical imaging to the smaller arteries that supply blood to the synovium—the lining of the knee. Tiny particles are then injected into the smaller blood vessels, where they become lodged and block or restrict the blood flow to the synovium. This in turn reduces inflammation and the associated pain.

How long does the GAE procedure last and what can I expect afterward?

The procedure takes about 1-1/2 hours to complete, with an hour of recovery and monitoring afterward. You will be able to return home after that. Most patients will start to achieve significant pain relief starting a few days after the procedure, and most are able to reduce their need for pain medication.

GAE represents a promising alternative for those seeking a non-surgical solution to manage their knee pain and improve their quality of life. It has a high rate of clinical improvement and a low incidence of adverse reactions.1,2 In fact, a clinical study performed in 2021 demonstrated that average pain scores decreased from 8 out of 10 to 3 out of 10 within the first week of the procedure.3

Is genicular artery embolization covered by insurance?

GAE is covered by many different insurance plans and Medicare. Our insurance specialists are happy to work with you to make sure your specific insurance plan covers the procedure.

How do I know if GAE is right for me?

If you’ve been diagnosed with osteoarthritis of the knee, call us to set up a consultation. We’ll help determine if GAE is an option for you, and we’ll also work with other members of your care team to ensure you have all the information needed to make an educated decision. You can also take the short quiz below to see if you may qualify for this procedure.

Take our quiz below to see if you qualify for GAE.

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  1. C H Sun et al. Efficacy analysis of selective genicular artery embolization in the treatment of knee pain secondary to osteoarthritis Zhonghua Yi Xue Za Zhi 2022 Mar 22;102(11):795-800. doi: 10.3760/cma.j.cn112137-20210926-02166.
  2. Bedros Taslakan et al. Genicular artery embolization for treatment of knee osteoarthritis pain: Systematic review and meta-analysis Osteoarthr Cartil Open 2023 Feb 6;5(2):100342 doi: 10.1016/j.ocarto.2023.100342. eCollection 2023 Jun.
To learn more or see if you may be a candidate for this procedure, please contact us to make an appointment.
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