Genicular Artery Embolization for Knee Pain

Treatment for: Knee pain caused by osteoarthritis
Procedures offered: Genicular artery embolization

Knee pain treatment Minnesota

Knee osteoarthritis

New research is changing our understanding of how osteoarthritis evolves. Of special importance is the finding that the synovium, the thick band of connective tissues that surround the knee and produce a fluid that lubricates the joint, may show signs of significant change even before visible cartilage degeneration has occurred. In other words, the inflammation and joint deterioration that causes OA knee pain is happening while the cartilage is still mostly intact.

Genicular artery embolization (GAE) is a new, minimally invasive procedure meant to “fill the gap” between medication and total knee replacement surgery. During the procedure, an interventional radiologist uses imaging to guide a catheter through the vascular system and to the genicular artery feeding the synovium. Tiny particles are injected that block the flow of blood to the synovium, which in turn decreases the inflammatory mediators that it secretes. The result is fast and long-term pain relief, as well as improved function and quality of life. Additionally, it does not preclude the ability to have knee replacement surgery in the future.

GAE Preparation Instructions

  • Please inform us of all medications that you are taking, including herbal supplements, and if you have any allergies, especially to local anesthetic, medications or to contrast (also known as “x-ray dye”).
  • You may be advised to stop taking aspirin, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (Tylenol, Advil) or a blood thinning medication for a period of time before your procedure.
  • Please inform us about recent illnesses or other medical conditions.
  • Women who are or may be pregnant should inform us immediately. Many imaging tests such as x-ray are not performed during pregnancy so as not to expose the fetus to radiation.
  • Unless otherwise instructed, you may take your usual medications, especially blood pressure medications. These may be taken with some water in the morning before your procedure.
  • You may be instructed to refrain from eating or drinking anything for several hours before your procedure.
  • You may need to remain for a period of observation after your procedure.
  • You will be given a gown to change into before your procedure.

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For more information about knee pain treatment at North Star Vascular please contact us.

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