Reviewed By: Pramod Kerkar, MD, FFARCSI

Avascular Necrosis is a pathological musculoskeletal disorder characterized by necrosis of bone tissues as a result of lack of adequate blood supply. This condition is also referred to as osteonecrosis. Avascular Necrosis is a condition which if left untreated can lead to small breaks in the hip bone and ultimately complete collapse of the bone.

Although anyone can have Avascular Necrosis of the hip, this condition is generally seen in individuals between the age range of 30 and 60 years. If this condition strikes a relatively young individual then it may have certain long term implications for the affected individual.

Some of the causes of avascular necrosis are reduced blood supply to the bone, fracture or dislocation of the bone, use of high dose steroids, and alcohol abuse.

Additionally, trauma to the bone from a fall or an accident may also result in decreased supply of blood to the bones causing Avascular Necrosis.

Certain medical conditions like cancer can also result in decreased blood supply causing Avascular Necrosis. Fatty deposits in the arteries can make them narrow resulting in decreased supply of blood to the bones causing Avascular Necrosis. Condition like sickle cell anemia is also one of the reasons for decreased supply of blood causing Avascular Necrosis.

Avascular Necrosis Prognosis

The overall prognosis of an individual with Avascular Necrosis depends on the extent of the disease, the location of the bone that has been affected, and the underlying cause. If the area of necrosis is quite large then it may not be possible to repair it even with surgery and ultimately the patient may require a joint replacement procedure.

In cases where Avascular Necrosis is caused due to a medical condition, treating the cause may help prevent worsening of the avascular necrosis and may even prevent the bone from getting collapsed.

In conclusion, the overall prognosis of Avascular Necrosis depends on the extent of the disease, the bone that is affected, and the underlying cause of the disease. In cases if the necrosis is widespread then the changes may not be reversible and a joint replacement procedure is the only option left for the patient.

However, if the underlying cause is a disease condition then addressing that condition may prevent worsening of the condition and help in preserving the joint and prevent the individual from having a joint replacement as a result of Avascular Necrosis.

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Pramod Kerkar

Written, Edited or Reviewed By:

, MD,FFARCSI

Pain Assist Inc.

Last Modified On: March 16, 2018

This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer

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