Geniculate Artery Embolization

Vascular Surgery Associates Medical Group -  - Vein Specialist

Vascular Surgery Associates Medical Group

Vein Specialists located in Beverly Grove, Los Angeles, CA & Santa Monica, CA

If you can’t get relief from knee pain caused by osteoarthritis, it’s time to learn about geniculate artery embolization (GAE). The experts at Vascular Surgery Associates Medical Group offer this cutting-edge procedure, providing long-term pain relief for knee osteoarthritis. To learn if this minimally-invasive procedure can help you return to an active life, call the nearest office in Beverly Hills and Beverly Grove, Santa Monica, or Glendale, neighborhoods of Los Angeles, California.

Geniculate Artery Embolization Q & A

What is geniculate artery embolization?

GAE is a minimally invasive procedure that reduces or stops blood flow in a select few of the tiny arteries (microvasculature) of your knee joint. The genicular arteries carry blood to the synovium, the membrane that lines your knees and becomes inflamed due to osteoarthritis.

After your specialist blocks circulation in the microvasculature of specific genicular arteries, the inflammation decreases, significantly easing or possibly eliminating your pain. Many patients also find that their movement also improves following the procedure.

When would I need geniculate artery embolization?

This procedure primarily treats knee osteoarthritis but may also be used to treat bleeding into the knee joint (hemarthrosis). Osteoarthritis develops over years with daily movement, gradually wearing down the articular cartilage covering the ends of bones.

Articular cartilage allows the bones inside the knee joint to glide without friction and grating. As more cartilage degenerates, the bones become exposed and rub against each other every time you bend your knee. This leads to painful inflammation in the synovium.

GAE can help people with moderate to severe pain that doesn’t improve with other conservative treatments, such as anti-inflammatory medications and joint injections. 

What happens during geniculate artery embolization?

Vascular Surgery Associates Medical Group typically uses a sedative together with a local anesthetic to ensure your comfort. They begin by making a pinhole incision in your thigh, creating an opening just large enough to insert a catheter (thin, hollow tube).

Using real-time X-ray (fluoroscopy), they guide the catheter to the targeted genicular artery in your knee and inject tiny particles, a procedure called embolization. The particles stay in place, blocking or reducing blood flow. 

Since you have six genicular arteries supplying the synovium, your specialist may need to treat several during the same procedure. Your GAE procedure typically takes one to two hours, depending on the number of arteries treated. 

After spending enough time in the office to let the sedation wear off and be sure you don’t have any problems, you go home the same day. It can take a week or two to experience the full effect because you need to wait for the inflammation to go down. Many people find that their results last at least one year.

To learn if GAE can relieve your knee pain, call Vascular Surgery Associates Medical Group or book an appointment online today.