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Genicular Artery Embolization: A Game-Changer for Osteoarthritis Treatment

Home  /  Genicular Artery Embolization: A Game-Changer for Osteoarthritis Treatment

Genicular Artery Embolization: A Game-Changer for Osteoarthritis Treatment

If you are one of the millions of people worldwide who suffer from osteoarthritis, you are aware of how incapacitating the condition can be. From excruciating joint pain to difficulty performing daily tasks, OA can have a significant impact on your quality of life. While there are several treatment options available, such as medication and physical therapy, a new minimally invasive procedure known as Genicular Artery Embolisation (GAE) is proving to be highly effective in reducing knee osteoarthritis pain.

Quick summary:

  • What is knee osteoarthritis
  • What is GAE ?
  • GAE After Knee Replacement
  • New Treatment for Osteoarthritis
  • reducing knee pain
  • Knee pain treatment
  • Know more about Genicular Artery Embolization
  • knee osteoarthritis
  • How GAE works
  • Result after GAE

The Full Story

What is knee osteoarthritis?

Knee osteoarthritis is a degenerative joint disease that occurs when the cartilage in the knee joint wears away, leading to pain, stiffness, and difficulty in movement. It is a common condition that affects millions of people worldwide, especially older adults.

How is Osteoarthritis treated?

While GAE is a relatively new treatment option for osteoarthritis, there are several other treatment options available. These include medications, injections such as corticosteroids or hyaluronic acid, physical therapy, weight management, and surgery. Your healthcare provider will evaluate your individual condition and recommend the best treatment options for you.

Symptoms of Osteoarthritis

The most common symptoms of osteoarthritis include pain and stiffness in the affected joint, particularly after periods of inactivity or overuse. You may also experience swelling or tenderness in the joint, a cracking or popping sound when you move the joint, and a decreased range of motion.

When to See a Doctor

If you are experiencing persistent knee pain or other symptoms of osteoarthritis, it is important to see a doctor. Your doctor can perform a physical exam, review your medical history, and order imaging tests such as X-rays or MRI to determine the extent of the damage to your knee joint.

New Treatment for Osteoarthritis

While there are several treatment options available for knee osteoarthritis, many patients continue to experience persistent pain despite treatment. This is where Genicular Artery Embolization (GAE) comes in as a promising new treatment option.

What is GAE?

Interventional radiologists use Genicular Artery Embolisation, a minimally invasive procedure, to treat knee arthritis, specifically degenerative arthritis. An interventional radiologist guides a small catheter through the femoral artery to the genicular arteries, which supply blood to the knee joint, during the procedure. The catheter is then used to inject small particles into the genicular arteries, obstructing blood flow to inflamed tissues and alleviating pain.

Role of Genicular Artery Embolization in the Treatment of Knee Pain Secondary to Osteoarthritis

Millions of people worldwide suffer from OA, a degenerative joint disease. It occurs when the cartilage that cushions the joints deteriorates, resulting in pain, stiffness, and decreased mobility. Knee osteoarthritis is a common type of osteoarthritis that can be particularly debilitating, causing difficulty with daily activities such as walking, climbing stairs, and even sitting or standing for long periods of time.

Who can benefit from genicular artery embolization?

Patients suffering from knee osteoarthritis who have not responded to traditional treatments such as medications, injections , or physical therapy may benefit from GAE. It is also an option for patients who are not suitable candidates for joint replacement surgery.

Who invented GAE & What is done in the procedure?

GAE was invented by a team of interventional radiologists to provide a new treatment option for osteoarthritis. The procedure is relatively straightforward and can be done under local anesthesia, with most patients experiencing little to no discomfort during or after the procedure. The entire procedure typically takes about an hour to complete, after which patients can usually go home on the same day.

What test needs to be done before Genicular Artery Embolization procedure?

Before undergoing GAE, patients need to have certain tests done to ensure that they are suitable candidates for the procedure. These tests may include a physical examination, blood tests, and imaging tests such as X-rays, MRI, or CT scans. Your healthcare provider will evaluate the results of these tests to determine if GAE is a suitable treatment option for you.

How is GAE performed?

Patients lie on their backs during the GAE procedure while the interventional radiologist accesses the femoral artery through a small incision in the groin. A catheter is then threaded through the artery and up to the knee joint. The radiologist then uses X-ray guidance to precisely position the catheter where the genicular arteries supply blood to the knee joint. Once the catheter is in position, small particles are injected to block blood flow, reducing inflammation and pain.

What happens after the GAE procedure?

After the procedure, patients may experience some discomfort at the site of the catheter insertion, but this typically resolves within a day. Most patients are able to return to their normal activities within 2-3 days. However, it’s essential to follow the post-procedure instructions provided by your healthcare provider to ensure a speedy recovery.

How Does It Work?

GAE works by blocking the blood flow to the inflamed tissues in the knee joint, which reduces inflammation and pain. The small particles injected into the genicular arteries cause the blood vessels to constrict, cutting off the blood supply to the affected area. This process also triggers the body’s natural healing response, which helps to reduce inflammation and promote tissue repair.

What are the outcomes of GAE?

Several studies have shown that GAE is highly effective in reducing knee osteoarthritis pain. According to a study published in the Journal of Vascular and Interventional Radiology, patients who underwent GAE reported significant pain relief and improved function. Another study published in Cardiovascular and Interventional Radiology discovered that GAE reduced pain and improved physical function in knee osteoarthritis patients.

Is GAE Treatment Cost Covered Under Health Insurance?

The cost of GAE treatment may be covered under health insurance, but it depends on your individual insurance plan. You should check with your insurance provider to determine if GAE is covered under your plan.

What is Role of Interventional Radiologist in GAE

GAE is performed by an interventional radiologist, who is a medical doctor specially trained in using imaging techniques to guide minimally invasive procedures. The interventional radiologist uses X-ray or ultrasound guidance to access the genicular arteries and inject the particles that will block the blood flow to the inflamed tissues.

How Does GAE Work?

GAE works by blocking the blood flow to the inflamed tissues around the knee joint, which reduces inflammation and promotes tissue repair. This leads to a reduction in knee pain and improved mobility.

Role of GAE After Knee Replacement

GAE can be a useful treatment option for patients who continue to experience knee pain after knee replacement surgery. While knee replacement surgery is a highly effective treatment option for end-stage knee osteoarthritis, some patients may continue to experience persistent pain and reduced mobility. In these cases, GAE can be a useful adjunctive treatment to improve outcomes.


Genicular Artery Embolization is a promising new treatment option for knee osteoarthritis that offers a minimally invasive approach to reducing knee pain and improving mobility. If you are experiencing persistent knee pain or other symptoms of osteoarthritis, it is important to see a doctor to determine the best treatment options for you. With the help of an interventional radiologist, GAE can be an effective treatment option to improve your quality of life.