Endovascular treatment of joint pain: osteoarthritis or osteoarthritis • CTAmed
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Endovascular treatment of joint pain: osteoarthritis or osteoarthritis

What is osteoarthritis or osteoarthritis?

This is the most common joint inflammation and affects the quality of life of millions of people around the world.

Osteoarthritis occurs due to degeneration of articular cartilage and can affect all joints in the body, although the knees, hips, hands and spine are most commonly affected.

Due to cartilage degeneration, degeneration of joint tissue and friction between bone surfaces occurs, which causes pain and deformation of the joint.


What are the most common symptoms?

  • pain, mainly when moving the joint;
  • stiffness, difficulty moving a joint, especially after sleep or long periods of inactivity;
  • sensitivity to palpation;
  • swelling;
  • loss of joint flexibility.


Risk factors

  • age;
  • gender: women are more susceptible to this pathology;
  • obesity;
  • congenital diseases, metabolic/skeletal;
  • injuries.

What types of treatment are available to you?

There are many types of treatment, including ointments, physical therapy, intra-articular injections, and, at the stage of irreversible changes, joint replacement surgery.

Today it is widely believed that active disease is accompanied by inflammation in the joint area, which leads to the symptoms described above.

A new, but already accepted worldwide treatment is embolization of the arteries supplying blood to the site of inflammation to reduce the flow of blood into the affected area and mitigate the inflammatory response.

Compared with surgery, this method has many advantages:

  • quick recovery and return to everyday life;
  • painless procedure;
  • possibility not to use anesthesia;
  • minimal complications;
  • identification of specific blood vessels supplying the site of inflammation and preservation of healthy vessels.

Who is suitable for this procedure?

Candidates for embolization are patients who suffer from chronic joint inflammation who do not improve with conservative treatments, whose symptoms do not improve with medication, and who are unable or unwilling to undergo invasive surgical treatment. These candidates must have normal renal function.

What happens during the procedure?

The patient lies on an operating table and is connected to screens that monitor his pulse, blood pressure and blood oxygen levels. The operation is performed by an invasive radiologist who uses local anesthesia to numb the access site, usually in the groin area.

Mild sedatives may also be used. Then the doctor creates an access through which he inserts a thin tube (catheter) into the artery and delivers it to the treatment site.

So that the invasive radiologist can clearly see the arteries supplying the problem area on the x-ray and determine where they should be closed (embolization), a small amount of contrast agent is injected.

After embolization, the patient is discharged the same day after surgery and can return to normal activities within a few days. Improvement in pain levels is expected within a few hours after surgery due to a decrease in inflammatory damage.

When the doctor sees the arteries supplying blood to the problem area of ​​the joint, he releases tiny particles of a substance that cause blockage of the desired arteries.

After the arteries supplying the area of ​​inflammation are blocked, the blood flow to it decreases, and along with it the inflammation. After completion of the procedure, the catheter is removed and a pressure bandage is applied to the puncture site in the groin area. In this case, there are no visible seams on the skin. The tiny access window on the skin is covered with a patch.

This procedure is usually completed in less than two hours.

How is the recovery process going?

After embolization, you can be discharged home the same day and can return to work within a few days. It is expected that within a few hours after the procedure the severity of the pain will decrease.

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