Genicular Artery Embolization for Osteoarthritis in Pittsburgh, PA
Osteoarthritis of the knee is a common disease, affecting millions of Americans. Osteoarthritis of the knee can lead to severe pain, joint deformity, and limited mobility and function. Initial therapies usually include weight loss, exercise, and pain control. But these are often temporary solutions because this knee degenerative joint disease, also known as osteoarthritis, is progressive.
Once you develop severe osteoarthritis of the knee, you can suffer tremendous pain and loss of function, limiting your mobility and activity. This takes a further toll on your overall health as it may limit your activity and ability to exercise.
If you’ve been diagnosed with osteoarthritis of the knee, genicular artery embolization may be an option for you. For patients in the Pittsburgh area, board-certified interventional radiologist Brent Steadman, MD is here to help. Dr. Steadman has extensive experience performing safe and effective genicular artery embolization procedures using the latest technology. Give us a call at (724) 503-6766 today to schedule a consultation, or request an appointment through our secure online form.
Symptoms of Osteoarthritis
We can classify osteoarthritis of the knee as mild or moderate to severe. Patients with mild or moderate pain may experience mild osteoarthritis with low levels of intermittent knee pain. With moderate to severe osteoarthritis of the knee, however, patients may experience persistent knee pain, limiting their overall mobility and quality of life.
Treatment Options for Osteoarthritis
- Anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID),
- Intra-articular steroid injections,
- Genicular Artery Embolization
For patient’s whose osteoarthritis knee pain has progressed, Dr. Steadman might recommend Genicular Arterial Embolization (GAE) which is a minimally invasive procedure. Genicular artery embolization involves shutting down the blood flow to your hypervascular joint lining, known as the synovium.
The synovium is a vascular lining of the joint capsule. When you have knee osteoarthritis, it becomes markedly thickened and inflamed (hypervascularity.) This leads to inflammation and subsequent worsening of pain.
Performed under “twilight” sedation, Dr. Steadman will insert a small catheter through a very small incision into the artery of the patient’s upper thigh and, with the use of X-ray imaging, guide the catheter to the arteries supplying the lining of the knee. Tiny beads are then injected through the catheter into these arteries, blocking them and reducing blood flow to the inflamed area to relieve the pain.
Dr. Steadman performs the procedure on an outpatient basis, so you can go home a few hours after treatment. And we don’t require general anesthesia or a hospital admission! The procedure is safe and effective and can be repeated if symptoms.
Benefits of GAE
This non-invasive treatment has proven to help people to find relief for their knee pain and, in some studies, reveal that this treatment can also decrease the inflammation and slow down the progression of osteoarthritis. Many patients experience long term relief of symptoms for up to 6 months after their first treatment.
Who is a Candidate for GAE?
Genicular artery embolization is a highly effective treatment for those patients who are:
- 40-80 years old
- Experiencing moderate or severe knee pain
- Have pain that is resistant to conservative treatments like physical therapy and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS).
It’s important to speak with a specialist to decide which treatment option is the best for you.