Request Appointment
Georgia Knee Institute logo

What Is GAE?

Genicular artery embolization, or GAE, is a non-surgical procedure for those with knee-related osteoarthritis pain and who have not experienced success with conservative therapies.

This minimally invasive procedure is performed by an Interventional Radiologist (IR), a specialist that uses X-rays and other imaging technologies to see in the body and treat diseases without surgery.

At Georgia Knee Institute, all genicular artery embolization procedures are performed by Dr. Kevin Lie, a highly qualified, board-certified Vascular and Interventional Radiologist with over 15 years of experience in all areas of minimally invasive interventions. He is well-known and respected in the IR community for providing accessible, top-quality, and leading-edge care to all of his patients.

Keep reading for more detailed information that answers the question, ‘What Is Genicular Artery Embolization?’

Understanding Genicular Artery Embolization

GAE is an outpatient procedure that only uses moderate sedation and local anesthesia, allowing patients to return home the same day.

During the knee treatment, your physician inserts a small catheter into an artery in your upper thigh to access the genicular arteries, which supply blood to the lining of the knee joint.

Next, using X-ray guidance, the catheter is guided into the affected arteries, and tiny particles are injected to reduce blood flow to the abnormal, inflamed synovial lining of the knee joint. The particles are made of a naturally occurring substance in the human body and do not migrate to other places or cause any allergic reactions.

The GAE procedure temporarily blocks blood flow to inflamed areas around the knee joint, reducing inflammation, pain, and discomfort associated with osteoarthritis.

Many GAE patients experience relief from long-term symptoms for six months to two years after a single embolization procedure. What’s more, GAE can be performed multiple times without increasing your risk of complications, helping you slow the progression of osteoarthritis and delay (or avoid) total knee replacement.

What Are the Goals of GAE?

Genicular artery embolization aims to alleviate persistent or chronic knee pain caused by osteoarthritis. To do this, it must achieve the following two goals

  1. Decrease blood flow to damaged areas of the knee joint
  2. Reduce inflammation of the tendons and ligaments around the knee joint

What Are the Side Effects of GAE?

As with any medical procedure, patients undergoing GAE may experience mild to moderate side effects or complications. We encourage you to discuss these known risks with one of our specialists before undergoing the procedure to ensure you are mentally and physically prepared.

Possible side effects include

Although rare, the following risks are also associated with GAE

If you are concerned about any side effects or risks listed, please talk to your healthcare provider beforehand while preparing for the GAE procedure.

GAE Recovery Time

Recovery time following genicular artery embolization can vary depending on factors such as the individual's overall health, the severity of knee pain, and any underlying conditions. 

In many cases, patients experience immediate relief from knee pain following the procedure, with noticeable improvements in mobility and quality of life within a few days. However, complete recovery and long-term benefits may take several weeks to months as the body heals and adjusts.

Physical therapy and rehabilitation programs may also play a role in optimizing outcomes and promoting sustained pain relief. Close follow-up with healthcare providers is essential to monitor progress and address any concerns during the recovery period.

Get Back to Doing What You Love With Safe, Effective GAE at Georgia Knee Institute

If you struggle with persistent or chronic knee pain, a GAE procedure could be your answer to getting back to the things you love, like walking, gardening, or visiting friends.

GAE is a comprehensive and non-surgical alternative to total knee replacement and offers long-term relief for osteoarthritis knee pain patients. If you have already tried the alternatives to GAE, like over-the-counter medications and physical therapy without success, we urge you to make an appointment for a consultation today. 

Now that we’ve answered, “What is GAE,” take the next step and talk to a Georgia Knee Institute specialist. We can help determine if you’re a candidate for GAE and develop a customized care journey to optimize your well-being.

Call us at 678-915-2000 or book an online appointment today.

Take the Quiz
Georgia Knee Institute leaf icon
Contact Us
Is GAE right for me?
Find out if genicular artery embolization is the right treatment for your knee osteoarthritis. Schedule a consultation with our team today.
Schedule an Appointment
Georgia Knee Institute logo in white
Contact Us
3225 Cumberland Blvd. Southeast
Suite 520
Atlanta, GA 30339
Monday – Friday
8am – 5pm


Please contact our dedicated specialists to schedule a consultation today.

Schedule an Appointment
sister site - Georgia Fibroids logo in whitesister site - Georgia Endovascular logo in whitesister site - Georgia Hemorrhoid logo in whitesister site - Georgia prostate logo in white

2024 Georgia Knee Institute. All rights reserved. Website Design by Healthcare Success