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Candidates for Genicular Artery Embolization

The pain associated with knee osteoarthritis can be quite bothersome and can prevent you from engaging in activities you enjoy.

You might believe surgical knee replacement is your most practicable option to resolve your symptoms. However, although surgical intervention can provide significant relief for patients experiencing advanced knee osteoarthritis, if you aren't a candidate for major surgery or if you don't want to endure the long recovery times, there are better, minimally invasive options.

Genicular Artery Embolization

Genicular artery embolization (GAE) is a minimally invasive procedure used to alleviate chronic knee pain in patients for whom conservative treatments have not succeeded. 

GAE offers several benefits to patients suffering from chronic knee pain. GAE can provide long-term pain relief by selectively decreasing the blood supply to the knee lining, potentially reducing or eliminating the need for pain medications. It is a minimally invasive procedure, meaning smaller incisions, negligible risk of scarring, and a shorter recovery period than traditional knee surgeries.

As with any medical procedure, GAE carries certain potential risks and considerations. While complications are rare, they can include the following:

The success rate of GAE is high. At Texas Knee Institute, the patients undergoing the treatment have experienced significant pain relief and improved function for a year after the procedure and even longer.

Who Is a Good Candidate For GAE?

Patients who meet the following criteria are considered suitable candidates for GAE.

Most patients experiencing symptomatic knee osteoarthritis can have GAE treatment. However, in certain cases, embolization might not be advisable. The following conditions might make you ineligible for GAE:

Patients with certain medical conditions or allergies should inform their healthcare provider beforehand to minimize potential risks. It is vital to discuss any concerns or questions with the healthcare team before having GAE performed.

Non-Surgical Alternatives to Knee Replacement

If you are not an appropriate candidate for embolization but do not wish to undergo knee replacement surgery, the following treatments might yield good outcomes.

Corticosteroid Shots

Corticosteroid shots, or cortisone injections, are commonly used to reduce inflammation in various body parts. Corticosteroid medications are powerful anti-inflammatory drugs. When administered directly into the affected area, corticosteroid shots can provide targeted relief and help alleviate pain and swelling.

The mechanism by which corticosteroid shots reduce inflammation is multifaceted.

It is important to note that while corticosteroid shots can be highly effective in reducing inflammation, they are typically used as a short-term solution. Prolonged use of corticosteroids can induce various side effects, including weakened immune response, thinning of the skin, and potential damage to cartilage and tendons. Corticosteroid shots must be administered under the guidance of a healthcare professional.

Viscosupplementation Injections

Viscosupplementation injections are commonly used to treat osteoarthritis. The procedure involves injecting a hyaluronic acid (HA) solution into the joint space. HA is a natural compound found in the synovial fluid, which lubricates the joints and provides cushioning.

The effectiveness of viscosupplementation injections may vary among individuals. While some patients experience significant pain relief and improved joint function, others may not experience the same level of benefit. It is important to note that viscosupplementation injections do not reverse or cure the underlying cause of osteoarthritis. 

Texas Knee Institute: Helping Patients Overcome Debilitating Knee Pain

Genicular artery embolization (GAE) is an effective treatment option that, like injections, offers symptom reduction. However, the outcomes are significantly longer lasting than either corticosteroid or viscosupplementation shots. 

At Texas Knee Institute, we aim to provide the most effective, minimally invasive treatment for knee osteoarthritis symptom relief.

If you struggle with osteoarthritis-related knee pain and want an alternative to surgical knee replacement, please get in touchplease get in touchplease get in touch with our helpful team of specialists to learn the best treatment options for you.

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