What is avascular necrosis?
Avascular necrosis (also called osteonecrosis) is bone death caused by a lack of blood supply to the bone tissue. It can be a short-term condition or permanent. This blood loss causes specific areas of bone tissue to die, weaken, and collapse. When a joint is affected, the adjoining surfaces may grow weaker and collapse.
What causes avascular necrosis?
The causes of this disease vary but are often related to trauma such as bone fractures; excessive alcohol intake; and long-term oral or IV steroid use (however, this does not apply to medically necessary steroid injections). Avascular necrosis is most common in people between 30 and 50 years of age.
What are symptoms of avascular necrosis?
This disease tends to be asymptomatic at first. As it progresses, the bone or joint becomes painful to stand on, and later, causes discomfort in any position. The pain can be felt in the buttock, groin, or thigh.
How is it diagnosed?
Our board-certified, fellowship-trained doctor will do a thorough examination, checking your medical history and performing imaging tests. He or she will check for other problems in your hip to rule out other conditions.
What are the best avascular necrosis treatments?
Treatments are intended to prevent further bone loss and vary by severity. They include nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, blood-thinning and cholesterol-lowering medications, well as prescribed exercise to improve range of motion. More severe cases can be treated with various surgeries including grafting healthy bone onto the site and joint replacement.
If you are experiencing symptoms of avascular necrosis, don’t wait. Call Orthopedic Specialists. Our board-certified, fellowship-trained doctors are experts in the diagnosis and treatment of all hip conditions.