Avascular Necrosis of the Hip

What is Avascular Necrosis of the Hip?

When the normal supply of blood to a bone is interrupted, avascular necrosis may occur. Avascular necrosis, or AVN, is a condition in which bone cells may die. The dead bone may then weaken, and consequently it can fracture or collapse, which can lead to arthritis. The most common part of a bone to be affected by AVN is the femoral head, but this condition can affect other bones in the body.

What causes Avascular Necrosis of the Hip?

The most common cause of AVN is injury or trauma like that from a dislocation or breaking of a bone. Other causes of this condition may include clotting disorders, diseases like Lupus, and treatments for cancer. Heavy use of alcohol or extended use of corticosteroids can also contribute to this condition.

Symptoms and Diagnosis

Symptoms of avascular necrosis of the hip may vary depending on the extent of the condition. Common symptoms may include mobility issues and pain in the hip that may spread to the groin and to the knee. This pain may increase with activity. Eventually, pain may occur during rest as well.

How is Avascular Necrosis of the Hip treated?

Conservative treatments like rest, physical therapy exercises, and medication may prove to be beneficial in slowing the progression of AVN. However, this condition usually needs to be treated with surgery. Options are available regarding the type of procedure, including core decompression, osteotomy, joint replacement or arthroplasty, bone reshaping, or bone grafting.

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