Knee embolization or Geniculate Artery Embolization (GAE) is a minimally-invasive, non-surgical procedure to reduce knee pain in patients with osteoarthritis (OA). Osteoarthritic knee pain can be the result of many factors, including increased blood supply. An interventional radiologist performs GAE to decrease inflammation that causes knee pain by slowing down blood flow to the affected areas. 

A knee embolization starts with a small puncture in the groin. Then, a catheter is used to inject tiny particles to embolize or block the blood flow around the lining of the knee. 

Is knee embolization effective?

Genicular artery embolization reduces moderate-to-severe knee pain in patients with osteoarthritis and is considered is highly effective.

In a recent UCLA trial, researchers found that 100% of GAE treatments were a technical success. At one year, all patients reported an over 60% decrease in pain based on a standardized osteoarthritic pain scoring system (WOMAC). 

In another recent multi-center trial in conjunction with the University of North Carolina School of Medicine, 20 patients with severe knee pain from OA were treated with GAE. All participants had less pain and a better range of motion post-procedure. 

Other knee pain options include temporary solutions like pain medication or joint injections (steroid or gel). A joint injection usually lasts around 1 to 3 months. The only long-term solution is a knee replacement. While this does work, it requires anesthesia, a stay at the hospital, a long recovery, and extended rehabilitation time.

Is knee embolization safe?

Yes, it is safe. We have completed many GAE procedures at MIVA and our patients have seen great results. It also does not require general anesthesia, only local which alleviates some of the risks. This is a great option for patients with knee pain who do not want or need full knee replacement surgery.  

How long does Genicular Artery Embolization treatment take?

The procedure generally takes between 45 and 90 minutes, and the patient is able to go home the same day.

Talk to your doctor about endovascular treatment at MIVA Medical or contact us HERE. Our expert team will help you determine if knee embolization is right for you.