Geniculate Artery Embolization:
A Minimally Invasive Treatment
for Chronic Knee Pain
What is Osteoarthritis (OA) related chronic knee pain?
Osteoarthritis (OA) is a degenerative joint disease that leads to gradual destruction of cartilage and chronic knee pain. It affects a generous portion of the population, with approximately 37% of Americans over the age of 60 suffering from OA related chronic knee pain. It has been shown to be the leading cause of chronic pain and disability in the elderly. Considering all sites of osteoarthritis in the body, over 80% of OA disease is from the knee, and up to 50% Americans are affected during their lifetime. Initially described as simply a “wear and tear” disease, it has now been shown through several studies to be much more complex. It involves a continuous cycle of inflammation, effecting the synovial lining of the knee, angiogenesis (new blood vessels recruiting sensory nerves), and continuous destruction of joint cartilage. The new blood vessels formed serve as a highway for more inflow of inflammatory cells, and the cycle of joint cartilage destruction continues. Geniculate artery embolization aims to block this highway by selectively blocking the small arteries affected, through minimally invasive technique.
What are the treatment options for OA related chronic knee pain?
We will talk about your treatment alternatives based on the findings of your imaging test and clinic consultation. Conservative measures include rest, ice, physical therapy, knee bracing, weight management, and analgesics. Surgery has shown to be effective in the treatment of OA related knee pain when conservative measures fail. However, there are some patients with co-morbidities (medical condition of two or more disorders or diseases coexisting at once) who are poor surgical candidates or wish to avoid invasive procedures and seek a minimally invasive alternative. Geniculate artery embolization is a minimally invasive procedure that selectively targets the site of knee pain by blocking the arteries contributing to inflammation and cartilage destruction.
How is Geniculate Artery Embolization (GAE) performed?
Prior to the procedure, the site of knee pain is marked on the skin. Using minimally invasive technique, a small catheter is inserted into the artery at the groin or at the ankle. Using x-ray imaging and contrast dye, the geniculate arteries supplying the area of knee inflammation, are selected and embolized (blocked) by injecting a solution of very tiny particles. The goal of the procedure is to effectively reduce the inflammation of the knee by blocking the small, inflamed artery branches. At the same time, preserving overall blood flow, minimizing complications. The procedure is done as an outpatient procedure at MIVA. Recovery is quick.
Why should you get in touch with MIVA Medical?
For patients suffering from advanced arthritis associated chronic knee pain, and looking for a non-surgical alternative, look no further. MIVA Medical offers innovative, minimally invasive treatments for chronic knee pain related to Osteoarthritis.
What is an arteriogram with intervention and how does it work?
“Arterio” means artery, and “Gram” is a word that means picture. We access your arteries using a tiny needle and thread a wire through the needle to access your arterial system. Using ultrasound and Xray guidance we make maps of your arteries using a dye that is injected into them. We can see which vessels of the knee are affected and identify where to target the treatment. This procedure is performed under moderate sedation.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is MIVA the right place for GAE treatment?
The decision regarding whether to treat your chronic knee pain related to OA with GAE starts with a clinical evaluation and review of imaging. Patients who have not had improvement despite conservative measures such as weight loss program, physical therapy, NSAIDs such as Naproxen, and/or knee injections may be a suitable candidate for GAE, especially if they are not a surgical candidate due to comorbidities or desire a non-surgical option.
Is it possible to get back up on my feet quickly?
Naturally, the length of time it takes to recover varies on the sort of therapy utilized. However, most patients report minimal recovery time. After undergoing treatment, we advise you to avoid heavy lifting for the first five days, but aside from this restriction, you are free to engage in your regular physical activity.