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Genicular artery embolization is a minimally invasive procedure used to treat chronic knee pain, particularly in patients with osteoarthritis or other degenerative knee conditions. This technique targets the genicular arteries, which are small blood vessels that supply blood to the knee joint.

During the procedure, a radiologist or interventional radiologist inserts a catheter into the femoral artery, typically through a small incision in the groin area or in the lower ankle. Using X-ray guidance, the catheter is navigated to the genicular arteries in the knee joint. Once in position, tiny particles (100-300 um in size) are injected through the catheter to block or reduce blood flow in the tiny branches of genicular arteries. This process is known as embolization.

By reducing the blood flow to the knee joint, genicular artery embolization aims to decrease inflammation and alleviate pain. The procedure is often performed under local anesthesia and sedation, allowing patients to remain awake but comfortable throughout.

Genicular artery embolization is considered a safer and less invasive alternative to traditional knee surgeries such as total knee replacement or arthroscopy. It offers several potential benefits, including shorter recovery times, lower risk of complications, and preservation of the native knee joint.

Patients who undergo genicular artery embolization typically experience significant relief from knee pain within a few weeks after the procedure. However, individual outcomes may vary, and some patients may require additional treatments or therapies to achieve optimal results.

Like any medical procedure, genicular artery embolization carries some risks, including bleeding, infection, and damage to surrounding tissues. However, these risks are relatively low compared to more invasive surgical interventions.

Overall, genicular artery embolization represents a promising option for patients suffering from chronic knee pain who have not found relief from conservative treatments. As with any medical decision, it’s essential for patients to discuss the potential risks and benefits of the procedure with their healthcare provider to determine if it’s the right choice for them.