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How a GAE Knee Procedure Helps Arthritis Pain

Posted on October 23, 2023
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Your knees take on a lot of wear and tear, especially as you age. For that reason, after decades of movement, you're likely to sustain damage to the smooth tissue that sits between your bones (called cartilage) allowing osteoarthritis to develop in your knees. When that happens, symptoms such as pain, stiffness and limited mobility are all common, negatively impacting your ability to enjoy life. In the past, the only true pathway to relieve this kind of knee pain was to seek surgery. Yet, today, there's new hope for relief for patients who wish to avoid surgery, or who can't undergo a knee replacement for a variety of reasons.

What is this new, non-surgical treatment for osteoarthritis of the knee? When options such as over-the-counter medications fail, patients can now find relief from the GAE knee procedure known as genicular artery embolization (GAE).

GAE Knee Procedure: How it Differs from Other Arthritis Treatments

GAE takes a new approach to relieving arthritis pain. Older treatment options relieve pain by targeting your cartilage. But the minimally invasive GAE knee procedure focuses on relieving inflammation around your knee joint.

How does this work? Well, the inside of your knee is lined by a type of connective tissue called the synovium, and that lining receives a supply of blood from the six genicular arteries. When you choose GAE, we can use guided 3D imaging to find areas of inflammation in your synovium. Then, we can insert a small catheter into your artery, guiding it to the synovium in your knee. Next, we inject small particles to reduce your arterial blood flow. As a result, we can reduce those spots of inflammation, in turn providing effective pain relief.

Best of all, unlike surgery, you can go home on the same day as your GAE knee procedure, avoiding an overnight hospital stay. While you will have to reduce your activity levels for a few days after your procedure, the recovery period is shorter and easier than ones associated with knee replacement surgery. In fact, most patients can resume normal activities within days of genicular artery embolization.

Benefits of GAE Knee Procedure

After GAE, most patients are able to avoid serious pain medications, along with the risk of dependence and additional side effects. Now, genicular artery embolization can't restore or repair your knee cartilage. However, it can delay osteoarthritis progression and offer effective pain relief and improved mobility, helping many patients avoid knee replacement surgery for extended periods of time. Ready to see if genicular artery embolization is your ideal alternative to knee replacement surgery? Click here to request an appointment at our Georgia Knee Institute. When you come in, we will determine the extent of your condition and determine if you're a candidate for this osteoarthritis treatment option.

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