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Geniculate artery embolization (GAE) is a minimally invasive procedure that has gained attention in recent years as a promising treatment option for chronic knee pain caused by osteoarthritis. As interest in this innovative procedure grows, many question what GAE entails, its effectiveness, and its potential benefits. This blog post will address some frequently asked questions (FAQs) about GAE and provide insights into this emerging treatment approach.

1. What is Geniculate Artery Embolization (GAE)?

Geniculate artery embolization (GAE) is a minimally invasive procedure that involves blocking or reducing blood flow to the geniculate arteries, which supply blood to the knee joint. By selectively targeting these arteries with tiny embolic particles, GAE aims to reduce inflammation and alleviate pain associated with osteoarthritis of the knee.

2. How is GAE Performed?

During the GAE procedure, a specially trained interventional radiologist inserts a thin catheter into the femoral artery in the groin and guides it to the geniculate arteries using real-time imaging guidance. Once the catheter is positioned, tiny embolic particles are injected into the geniculate arteries to block or reduce blood flow, thereby reducing inflammation and relieving pain in the knee joint.

3. Who is a Candidate for GAE?

GAE may be considered for individuals who have chronic knee pain caused by osteoarthritis and have not responded to conservative treatments such as medication, physical therapy, or injections. Candidates for GAE typically undergo a thorough evaluation by a multidisciplinary team, including orthopaedic surgeons, pain specialists, and interventional radiologists, to determine if the procedure is appropriate for their condition.

4. What are the Benefits of GAE?

The potential benefits of GAE include reduced knee pain, improved function and mobility, and a decreased need for pain medication. Unlike surgical interventions such as knee replacement surgery, GAE is minimally invasive and does not require general anaesthesia, resulting in shorter recovery times and fewer complications for eligible patients.

5. Is GAE Safe?

GAE is considered safe and well-tolerated when experienced interventional radiologists use appropriate techniques and equipment. Like any medical procedure, GAE carries risks, including bleeding, infection, and damage to surrounding structures. However, serious complications are rare, and most patients experience mild discomfort or soreness at the catheter insertion site.

6. What is the Success Rate of GAE?

The success rate of GAE varies depending on individual factors, such as the severity of osteoarthritis and the patient’s overall health. Clinical studies have shown promising results, with many patients experiencing significant pain relief and improvements in knee function following GAE. However, further research is needed to thoroughly understand the long-term efficacy and durability of the procedure.

7. What is the Recovery Process Like?

Following GAE, patients typically experience minimal discomfort or soreness at the catheter insertion site and can resume normal activities within a few days. Some patients may experience temporary swelling or bruising around the knee joint, which usually resolves within a week. Patients are advised to avoid strenuous activities for a short period after the procedure to allow the knee to heal properly.


In conclusion, geniculate artery embolization (GAE) is an innovative and minimally invasive treatment option for chronic knee pain caused by osteoarthritis. By selectively targeting the geniculate arteries, GAE aims to reduce inflammation and alleviate pain in the knee joint, offering potential benefits for eligible patients who have not responded to conservative treatments. While GAE shows promise as a safe and effective procedure, consulting with a qualified healthcare provider is essential to determine if it is appropriate for your condition and needs.