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Are There Genicular Artery Embolization Side Effects

Posted on December 06, 2023

If you’re considering an alternative knee replacement, you may worry about genicular artery embolization side effects. But what is this procedure, how does it relieve arthritis-related knee pain and what, if any, side effects should you expect? Keep reading to find out.

What is Genicular Artery Embolization (GAE)?

GAE is a minimally invasive treatment option for people living with osteoarthritis (OA) of the knee. At the Texas Knee Institute, our interventional radiologists perform this outpatient procedure with local anesthesia, allowing you to remain awake and pain-free, while avoiding an overnight hospital stay!

Once the anesthetic takes effect, our specialists insert a catheter through a small opening in the leg, guiding it to the blood vessels supplying your knee joint.  Once x-ray imaging confirms the catheter is in the proper place, we inject tiny body-safe beads into your knee lining (synovium.) Afterward, the reduced blood flow to the region will result in less pain and swelling.  

Genicular Artery Embolization Side Effects

Research shows that there aren’t significant genicular artery embolization side effects. If you do experience effects after your procedure, they should be mild and easy to tolerate. These include dull pain, bruising or discoloration around your knee, or a mild numbing effect, However, if you do experience these side effects, they should resolve within weeks of your GAE procedure.

Genicular Artery Embolization: Side Effects vs Benefits

As you can see, any side effects associated with the GAE alternative knee replacement are minor and self-resolving. That is not the case for other, more invasive treatment options for osteoarthritis of the knee.

Yet, despite minimal side effects, GAE comes with a success rate as high as 70% when it comes to reducing knee pain and other symptoms caused by OA. And that’s not all. When you choose this alternative knee replacement, your recovery period will last a few weeks at most—a sharp contrast to the nearly full year it takes to come back from knee replacement surgery. As such, few people who are good GAE candidates worry about the minor genicular artery embolization side effects. Instead, they focus on the OA symptom relief and the reduced down time they can enjoy when choosing this treatment option!

Choosing GAE in Texas

Not every patient will be a GAE candidate. However, this is a great treatment option for patients who are ineligible for or wish to avoid knee replacement surgery, but haven’t found relief from other treatment options. Because, while GAE won’t cure osteoarthritis, it can provide extended relief from OA symptoms, helping you maintain mobility and delay or avoid surgery. Ready to see if you’re candidate for GAE in Houston or Dallas? Click here to request a consultation. Click here to request a consultation. Click here to request a consultation.

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