Osteoarthritis or DJD of the knee is a condition in which the cartilage of the knee breaks down over time. Without cartilage to act as insulation, the bones can begin to rub together. After enough time, this can cause the formation of painful growths known as bone spurs.
Osteoarthritis of the knee most commonly affects older demographics, but patients of any age can experience this progressive disintegration of cartilage. Other common risk factors include a history of knee injury, or a genetic predisposition to osteoarthritis. Obesity also contributes significantly to the development of osteoarthritis, as excess weight can put a strain on the joints of the knee.
Osteoarthritis of the knee manifests as various types of discomfort in the knee area. This can include:
If osteoarthritis progresses, it can result in the formation of bone spurs. Bone spurs can make the knee appear knobby or bumpy, and cause increased pain. They can also cause reduced range of motion, and a feeling of numbness.
Genicular artery embolization, or GAE is a non-surgical procedure that can significantly reduce the symptoms caused by osteoarthritis of the knee. It accomplishes this by blocking the blood supply to the lining of the knee, known as the synovium. This inflammation is what leads to the pain and stiffness of osteoarthritis. GAE can help delay the immediate necessity of knee replacement surgery.
The procedure is performed by our Vascular Interventional Radiologist. It begins with the IR making a small nick on the patient’s upper thigh, and inserting a thin catheter into the patient’s artery. This catheter is then guided to the arteries that supply blood to the lining of the knees.
From here, small microspheres are injected through the catheter into these arteries, reducing the flow of blood to the lining of the knees. As this blood supply is stemmed, inflammation will begin to reduce, and the procedure is complete. Patients usually begin to feel relief within 2 weeks.
GAE is best suited for patients between the ages of 40 and 80 who suffer from moderate to severe knee pain. The procedure is most effective in those who are confirmed to have osteoarthritis, but have yet to develop bone spurs. Patients who have not responded to conservative treatments like NSAIDS or physical therapy would also benefit from GAE.
GAE is best suited for those who are not ready for knee replacement surgery. Those who don’t wish to go through the extended recovery and rehabilitation period associated with major surgery can utilize GAE to help alleviate the symptoms of their osteoarthritis.
While GAE does not directly repair the disintegration of cartilage, it has been shown to drastically reduce the symptoms of osteoarthritis of the knee. Patients show a marked decrease in pain, and an increase in mobility.
GAE is also minimally-invasive, meaning it does not require a large incision and associated long-term scarring. It also does not require the use of general anesthesia; patients are comfortably sedated, but remain conscious. GAE is a same day procedure, and patients will be allowed to leave after treatment and recover in the comfort of their own home.
The last but most important step in choosing to have a GAE treatment is selecting the right facility to complete the procedure. It’s important to choose a staff that prioritizes proper patient care, and utilizes the best in state-of-the-art medical technology.
If you want focused professionals who achieve excellent results, you’ll want your procedure conducted by ProVas Labs.
At ProVas Labs, we understand the pain and discomfort of osteoarthritis. We provide proven alternatives to surgery, and take the time to ensure each of the patients receives top-quality care. Our trained specialists are experts at performing GAE procedures, and do so with a high rate of efficacy.
A knee replacement is not your only option. If you aren’t ready for surgery, GAE can offer you significant symptom relief from osteoarthritis of the knee, without the risk and discomfort of invasive procedures. Let us walk you through the specific steps of this procedure, and answer any question you have about your treatment: Simply schedule a consultation today!
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