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Avascular Necrosis

Avascular Necrosis

Avascular means blood flow loss and necrosis indicate cell death or tissue death. When a bone dies because of a lack of blood supply, avascular necrosis or osteonecrosis is identified. Often known are the following names – aseptic necrosis, bone ischemic necrosis, and bone infarction.

This disease is very common in persons of age between 30 and 60 years. Sometimes it also affects the children, commonly those who are on cancer therapy. AVN can affect the hip, shoulder, wrist, ankle, etc. Femoral head of hip joint most commonly affected.

The interruption of supply of blood to the joint of the hip leads to the damage or bone cell death of femur head (thigh bone). Bone collapse or bone damage is because of ignorance or delay in getting the treatment.

Stages of AVN of hip

  • Stage 1 – The x-ray is normal. But MRI shows mild changes (cell death)
  • Stage 2 – Hip X-ray shows clearly visible changes. The shape of the femoral head (ball) is intact.
  • Stage 3- There are changes in the shape of the ball of the femur.
  • Stage 4 – There is clear evidence of femoral head collapse and cartilage damage in the x-ray.
  • Stages of AVN of hip

    A non-supply of blood to the bone is the most common cause of avascular necrosis.

    Following are some more causes:

  • Fracture of bone
  • Dislocation of hip
  • Trauma or injury to the joint or bone
  • Following are some more causes:

  • Fat deposition in the blood vessels
  • Other diseases like anemia
  • Drinking alcohol
  • Trauma
  • High dose of corticosteroids
  • Chemotherapy
  • ome diseases like sickle cell anemia, Gaucher’s disease, HIV,
  • Symptoms

  • Pain around the affected joint
  • Pain is mild to severe
  • Pain in the groin, pain can spread towards the knee and buttocks
  • Pain aggravates while putting weight on the affected hip joint
  • Restricted joint movement due to severe pain
  • Limping
  • Symptoms

  • X-rays: To see the changes in the joint and bone, and to see the stage of AVN. The initial x-ray might be normal.
  • MRI and CT scan: Detailed joint images, more specific. Also, shoes if there is any soft tissue injury.
  • Bone scan: Helps visualizing inside the bones.