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What Are the Genicular Artery Embolization Side Effects?

Posted on December 06, 2023

An alternative knee replacement is a minimally- invasive procedure, but are there genicular artery embolization side effects? Plus, how does this procedure relieve arthritis-related knee pain without surgery? Keep reading to learn more.

Genicular Artery Embolization (GAE): An Alternative Knee Replacement

GAE relieves pain related to osteoarthritis (OA) of the knee. At the Georgia Knee Institute, our interventional radiologists perform this treatment as an outpatient procedure, using local instead of general anesthesia. This allows you to remain awake and comfortable during treatment. Plus it means you can avoid an overnight hospital stay!

But what's involved in the procedure? While you are awake but sedated, our specialists use X-ray imaging to guide a catheter to the blood vessels supplying your knee joint.  Once it's in place, we can inject embolizing material into your knee lining (synovium), reducing blood flow along with pain and swelling in your knee.  

Are there Genicular Artery Embolization Side Effects?

Though a relatively new treatment option, research and patient reports tell us that there aren’t significant genicular artery embolization side effects. Some patients report mild pain, bruising or discoloration around your knee after GAE. However, if you do experience these side effects, they should resolve within weeks of your GAE procedure. And they are typically mild and easy to tolerate.

Side Effects of GAE vs Benefits

As you can see, any genicular artery embolization side effects are minor and resolve without intervention. Plus, GAE has a high success rate for OA knee pain sufferers. And it comes with a relatively short recover period, in contrast to the six months to one year of recovery you can expect following knee replacement surgery.

Choosing GAE in Georgia

GAE is a great treatment option for patients who are ineligible for or wish to avoid knee replacement surgery, but haven’t found relief from treatment options such as medication or physical therapy. And, while GAE won’t cure osteoarthritis, it can provide extended OA symptom relief, helping you maintain mobility and delay or avoid surgery. Ready to see if you’re a candidate for GAE in Georgia? Click here to request an appointment.

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