How Genicular Artery Embolization (GAE) Can Help Treat Knee Osteoarthritis

Dec 14, 2022
How Genicular Artery Embolization (GAE) Can Help Treat Knee Osteoarthritis
If you’re one of the many people grappling with osteoarthritis pain in your knees, you may want to consider genicular artery embolization. Learn how this minimally invasive treatment can help.

Of the over 100 forms of arthritis, osteoarthritis (OA) is the most common type to affect the knee. OA is also the leading joint disease-related cause of chronic pain and disability in the United States. In other words, if this condition interferes with your daily life, you’re far from alone.

Thankfully, effective osteoarthritis treatment can make a difference by minimizing your symptoms. And genicular artery embolization (GAE) is a valuable option to consider.

At his Midtown Manhattan practice, double board-certified radiologist Dr. Yosef Golowa is pleased to provide GAE to reduce your pain and improve your function when you’re living with knee osteoarthritis. 

Take a few moments to learn about this minimally invasive treatment, including how it might benefit you.

How osteoarthritis affects your knees

Osteoarthritis is a “wear-and-tear” condition, meaning that using your joints for years gradually wears down the cartilage that cushions them. And while you can develop OA early in life, it’s especially common after middle age. 

Most people aged 60 or older have some degree of OA, with a severity that can range from barely noticeable to quite debilitating. If you’ve spent a great deal of time using your knees repetitively for sports or other activities, you increase your risk of bothersome symptoms. A family history of OA also raises your risk.

Osteoarthritis can affect other joints, such as your hip joints, but knees are most often affected. Once it develops, your knee symptoms may include:

  • Aching and soreness, especially during or after movement
  • Pain after lengthy use or periods of inactivity
  • Stiffness after you rest
  • Swelling

And because OA is a progressive disease, your symptoms can intensify over time — especially without treatment.

How genicular artery embolization can help

GAE provides immediate and long-term osteoarthritis pain relief. It reduces blood flow to the lining of your knee. Dr. Golowa performs it on an outpatient basis.

During your procedure, you’re under twilight sedation, which keeps you calm and sleepy. Once you’re relaxed, Dr. Golowa inserts a catheter into an artery in your upper thigh. 

Then, guiding with X-ray images, he moves the catheter along the artery that provides blood to your knee’s lining. Once the catheter is in place, tiny gel particles are inserted into your arteries to restrict the amount of blood that flows to particular knee tissues. 

GAE is less invasive than major surgery, which means it brings fewer risks for things like infection, as well as less recovery time. You can return home soon after your procedure. Within two weeks, you should start experiencing less inflammation and pain. 

To learn more about genicular artery embolization for osteoarthritis pain, call our office or book an appointment through our website today.