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What's the success rate of genicular artery embolization?

Posted on July 19, 2023

Recently, we began offering a new alternative knee replacement in our offices, and now patients wonder, what is the success rate of genicular artery embolization? In a minute, we'll highlight all the important stats on this minimally invasive treatment for osteoarthritis in your knee. But first, we want to explain exactly what's involved with this procedure.

What is genicular artery embolization? hand holding knee in pain

Genicular artery embolization, or GAE, is an alternative to knee replacement surgery. It's a great osteoarthritis treatment option for patients who aren't ready to totally replace their knee joints.

Ideal for people who have mild arthritis, GAE is a great middle of the road treatment option--less invasive than surgery but more aggressive than options like anti-inflammatory medications or physical therapy. But how does this treatment option work? Basically, genicular artery embolization cuts off blood flow to the hypervascular joint lining, called the synovium.

Why is this an effective treatment for osteoarthritis? Well, the synovium is a vascular lining. So, when you develop osteoarthritis in your knee, the disease causes inflammation and thickening in the joint lining. Pain quickly follows.Then,to combat that pain, our Dallas and Houston interventional radiologists insert a small catheter into one of your leg arteries. Next, we use x-rays to image your blood vessels (angiogram) so we can pinpoint the origins of your inflammation. Armed with that information, we can inject tiny particles into that catheter to flow down to the inflamed portions of your synovium. This injection decreases blood flow, and inflammation, to your knee. And that reduces your pain while improving your joint function. 

What is the success rate of genicular artery embolization?

We know that there are many benefits to this alternative knee replacement. By reducing inflammation in your joint lining, GAE can help slow osteoarthritis progression. Plus, as a minimally-invasive outpatient procedure, you can access this osteoarthritis treatment without a hospital stay or extensive healing time. Instead, you show up in the morning and get to return home a few hours later, jumping back into your normal light activities the next day.

Also, when you choose GAE, you can avoid surgical incisions, skin stitches and staples. And to undergo the procedure, you don't need general anesthesia-- we keep you calm and comfortable with mild sedation. Perhaps best of all is the fact that GAE reduces your risk for surgical and post-surgical complications. Plus, we can perform the procedure multiple times at no additional risk to your help, helping you dramatically delay the need for knee joint replacement surgery.

But what is the success rate of genicular artery embolization? Clinically, we've seen that most patients enjoy as much as six months of osteoarthritis symptom relief after genicular artery embolization. But you don't have to take our word for it. Instead, you can trust the science, as a recent study revealed that the technical success rate for this procedure was 99.7%. With minimal counter-indications and few risks associated with this procedure, these numbers make genicural artery embolization an extremely effective treatment for osteoarthritis in your knee. Contact our vein specialists in Houston and Dallas today to see if this is the right knee replacement alternative for you!

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