(WYTV) — If your knees are bothering you or you find it painful to walk, there may be a way to overcome arthritis in your knees without major surgery — without having to replace a knee joint, fully or partially.
It’s called genicular artery embolization, a quick and painless outpatient procedure.
Doctors inject tiny particles into the arteries leading to the knee. This reduces the blood flow a bit and, in doing so, reduces the cause of the pain from inflammation.
“After the two-hour procedure, there’s about a two- to three-hour recovery time. And then, patients can essentially walk home from the hospital if they choose to,” says Dr. Sid Padia of the UCLA Health Santa Monica.
Radiologists have been using this technique to reduce liver tumors and treat uterine fibroids. In the case of the knee treatment, doctors are treating inflammation.
If you’ve tried steroid injections, over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medications or physical therapy and the pain persists, what’s left is usually left is a partial or full knee replacement.
This procedure — genicular artery embolization — is just coming into wider use. It may also work on other parts of the body, including the shoulders and elbows.