Avascular necrosis is a disease that results from the temporary or permanent loss of blood supply to the bone causes a disease called Avascular Necrosis. In this condition, the bone tissue dies and the bone collapses due to loss of supply of blood. The joint surface may collapse if it occurs near a joint.

Though it may happen in any bone, It affects the end of a long bone commonly. It may harm one bone, several bones, or different bones at different times.

What causes avascular necrosis?

Avascular necrosis may be the result of the following:

  • Injury
  • Fracture
  • Damage to blood vessels
  • Long-term use of certain medicines
  • Excessive, long-term use of alcohol
  • Specific chronic medical conditions

What are the risk factors for avascular necrosis?

Risk factors include:

  • Injury
  • Use of steroid use
  • Gaucher disease
  • Caisson disease
  • Use of alcohol
  • Blood disorders, such as sickle cell anemia
  • Radiation treatments
  • Chemotherapy
  • Pancreatitis
  • Decompression disease
  • Hypercoagulable state
  • Hyperlipidemia
  • Autoimmune disease

What are the symptoms of avascular necrosis?

The most common symptoms of avascular necrosis are

  • Slight pain in joints at an early stage
  • Increased joint pain as bone and joint begin to cave in.
  • restricted motion due to pain

The symptoms may be similar to other diseases related to bone. So it’s advisable to consult a healthcare professional in such cases for proper investigation.

How is avascular necrosis diagnosed?

Some tests may be conducted to determine your condition as avascular necrosis.
They are as follows

  • X-ray.
  • CT or CAT scan
  • MRI
  • Biopsy

How is avascular necrosis treated?

Based on certain conditions the procedure for treatment will be finalized

  • age, overall health, and medical history of a person
  • The range of the disease
  • Location and amount of bone affected
  • The reason for the disease
  • Tolerance for specific medicines, procedures, or therapies
  • Your opinion or preference

The aim of treating avascular necrosis is the improvement of the mobility of the bone as well as to prevent further damage.

Treatments may include

  • Medicines to control pain.
  • Assistive devices to reduce weight on the bone or joint.
  • Core decompression is a surgical procedure where, the inner layer of bone is removed to lessen pressure, shoot up blood flow, and slow or stop bone and/or joint destruction.
  • Osteotomy is used to reduce stress on the affected area by reshaping the bone.
  • Bone graft transplants are used to transplant healthy bone from another part of the body into the damaged part.
  • A joint replacement technique is used to insert an artificial joint replacing the damaged joint removing it. This technique is opted only when other therapies are not helpful in treating the symptoms.

Bone growth can also be done using electric stimulation and a combination of other therapies.

Key Points about Avascular Necrosis

  • Avascular necrosis is a disease that results from the temporary or permanent loss of blood supply to the bone. It happens most commonly at the ends of a long bone.
  • Avascular necrosis may be the result of injury, use of medicines, or alcohol.
  • Symptoms may include joint pain and limited range of motion.
  • Medicines, assistive devices, or surgery may be used to improve functionality or to stop further damage to the affected bone or joint.