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Frequently Asked Questions About Genicular Artery Embolization (GAE)

Genicular artery embolization (GAE) is a highly effective, pioneering, non-surgical intervention for symptomatic knee osteoarthritis that is not successfully managed through anti-inflammatory medications or corticosteroid injections.

Here are answers to the most frequently asked questions about this groundbreaking, minimally invasive treatment.

What is GAE?

Genicular artery embolization -- also known as geniculate artery embolization or GAE -- is an outpatient treatment designed to relieve severe knee pain related to osteoarthritis without surgery or lengthy recovery times.

GAE is an endovascular procedure, meaning that it is a non-surgical approach to treating vascular (blood vessel) disorders. Rather than undergoing open surgery to replace damaged bone and cartilage, GAE patients have embolic materials injected into the genicular arteries that supply blood to the lining of the knees. The materials inhibit the blood flow, causing a significant reduction in inflammation and pain.

Learn more about the GAE procedure here.

Is GAE a Safe Treatment?

GAE is among the safest and best-tolerated interventions for symptomatic knee osteoarthritis. Patients who would rather avoid knee replacement surgery frequently opt for GAE because the complication risks are minimal and recovery times are short.

How Much Does GAE Cost?

The cost of GAE depends upon several factors, most notably the type and degree of health insurance coverage.

If you have questions about the cost of the procedure, financing options, insurance coverage, or out-of-pocket expenses, our helpful representatives in our billing team at Texas Knee Institute will be more than happy to discuss your options.

Does Medicare Cover GAE?

Medicare usually covers GAE, but authorization might be necessary. Please get in touch with the representatives in our billing department to discuss your options.

How Long Does the GAE Procedure Take?

Overall, a genicular artery embolization procedure typically takes approximately two hours to complete, but the exact duration can vary depending on the specific circumstances of each case.

Patients need to consult with their healthcare provider to get a more accurate estimate of the procedure's duration in their particular situation.

How Long do GAE Results Last?

The existing studies indicate that the benefits of GAE can be sustained for at least two years and potentially longer, with some studies finding positive outcomes lasting up to four years.

GAE has shown promising results for pain relief and functional improvement in patients with chronic osteoarthritis knee pain.

How Long Is GAE Recovery Time?

Recovery time for genicular artery embolization (GAE) for knee osteoarthritis symptoms can vary depending on individual factors and the extent of the procedure.

After undergoing GAE, patients generally experience a reasonably quick recovery period compared to traditional open surgery. Most patients can resume their normal activities within a few days to a week following the procedure. However, it is essential to note that individual recovery times may differ.

Patients may experience minor discomfort, swelling, or bruising around the treated knee during the initial recovery period. Pain medication and applying ice to the area can help alleviate these symptoms. It is recommended to avoid physically demanding activities and heavy lifting during the recovery period.

Does GAE Treat Knee Pain?

Patients struggling with osteoarthritis-related knee pain report significant pain reduction that lasts for as long as four years after GAE.

For knee osteoarthritis, GAE offers the following benefits:

However, not all knee pain can be managed with GAE. If you have knee pain related to infection or injury, GAE might not be an appropriate treatment.

Texas Knee Institute: Break Free from Knee Pain

Texas Knee Institute is a trusted resource for patients seeking relief from osteoarthritis-related knee pain and stiffness.

If you're ready to stop the struggle with knee pain, please get in touch with the specialists at Texas Knee Institute today at 469-341-5997713-575-3686713-575-3686 (Houston) or 469-341-5997 (Dallas) for a comprehensive evaluation.

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