Questions that we commonly get asked about the Genicular Artery Embolization procedure. An embolization is a type of minimally invasive procedure that can prevent blood from flowing to specific regions. Blood flow in the areas around the target location is preserved, dealing with bleeding that may be concerning and keeping surrounding tissues healthy.
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What is osteoarthritis?
Osteoarthritis (OA) occurs when the cartilage between the bones breaks down, causing joint pain. It is commonly caused by wear and tear and can cause joints to be swollen and difficult to move. Osteoarthritis is also called degenerative joint disease (DJD). A person is at greater risk of OA if they have injured a joint or regularly engage in repeated stressful motions on a joint. Obesity and age are also common risk factors.
What is the difference between arthritis and osteoarthritis?
The main difference between arthritis and osteoarthritis is that osteoarthritis is a type of arthritis. Arthritis is defined as swelling of the joints that causes pain and stiffness. Osteoarthritis is the most common type of arthritis that is caused by wear and tear. There are over 100 different forms of arthritis. Another common form of arthritis is rheumatoid arthritis, which is a chronic inflammatory disorder where the immune system attacks the body’s tissue, joints, and sometimes even organs.
What is the main cause of osteoarthritis?
The main cause of OA is stress on the joints over time. The cartilage wears away with regular stress on the joints, causing pain. Other causes include connective tissue disease, abnormal development of joints or limbs, previous injuries to the joints, or inherited factors. Inflammatory mediators could also play a role in the process of osteoarthritis.
What are the four stages of osteoarthritis?
The stages of osteoarthritis range from normal to severe. There are four different stages of OA, those are:
- Stage 1 (Minor) is when the joint shows minor wear and bone spur growth. At this stage, it is not common for patients to experience pain or discomfort.
- Stage 2 (Mild) is when the joint shows increase bone spur growth. At this stage, patients begin to develop joint pain symptoms.
- Stage 3 (Moderate) is when the joint shows obvious cartilage erosion. At this stage, there is inflammation that causes pain during use and stiffness after long periods of limited use.
- Stage 4 (Severe) is when the space of the joint between the bones is reduced, causing the cartilage to wear. This causes stiffness in the joint. There is a chronic inflammatory response to the breakdown of cartilage, causing greater pain during use.
Stage 0 (Normal) is when the knee doesn’t show any signs of OA. There aren’t any signs of damage to the joint and a person does not experience any pain or stiffness.
What is the best treatment for osteoarthritis?
There are many treatment options available, and asking your doctor is the best approach to determine which treatment option for osteoarthritis is right for you. Treatment options include physical activity, weight loss, OTC NSAID medications, injections, joint replacement, and minimally invasive procedures like Genicular Artery Embolization (GAE).
What is Genicular Artery Embolization (GAE)?
Genicular Artery Embolization (GAE) is a minimally invasive procedure that is performed in an outpatient setting by a physician specifically trained in minimally invasive procedures. These physicians include interventional radiologists, interventional cardiologists, and vascular surgeons. The physician, through a small puncture in the groin, places a small catheter down the leg into the knee joint. Using a catheter, the physician injects small particles that block the capillaries around the lining of the knee. This reduces blood flow to the part of the knee that is inflamed, resulting in a reduction in pain.
Where is GAE offered?
Modern Vascular is a group of affiliated outpatient medical clinics managed by interventional radiologists, interventional cardiologists, and vascular surgeons. Some Modern Vascular facilities are currently offering GAE procedures. Check the GAE page to find out where this procedure is available.