At Slocum Center for Orthopedics & Sports Medicine, our hip surgeons specialize in the treatment of several hip conditions, including avascular necrosis. With over four decades of experience in orthopedics, your treatment will be provided by a team whose experience and skill-set is virtually unmatched in Eugene, the surrounding areas of Oregon, and throughout the Northwest.
Avascular necrosis is more common in men than in women and usually affects people before age 50. It is progressive and worsens with time; managing it is a lifelong process. Avascular necrosis, the death of bone tissue due to a lack of blood supply, can cause tiny breaks in the bone resulting in the bone's eventual collapse. Avascular necrosis most often affects the head of the thighbone (femur), causing hip pain. But it may affect other bones as well.
Blood supply to the bone can be temporarily interrupted or completely cut off for a number of reasons, but the most frequent cause is trauma, including a broken bone (fracture). People who drink heavily may develop fatty deposits in blood vessels, which can restrict the flow of blood to bones. High doses of corticosteroids over long periods of time may also lead to avascular necrosis.
Preventing further bone loss is the goal of treatment. Patients suffering the early stages of avascular necrosis may benefit from more conservative treatment, while later stages may require surgery. This condition should be treated by an orthopedic surgeon.
Initial treatment may include nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs); rest, including the use of crutches to keep weight off the joint for one to three months; exercises developed by a physical therapist; or electrical stimulation of bone growth.