Avascular necrosis is a condition in which the bone tissue dies due to the loss of blood to the bone. When there is no supply of blood, bone tissue dies. It commonly affects the hip joint and causes hip pain. Avascular necrosis is also termed osteonecrosis. In the case of the hip joint, disabling osteoarthritis may occur. Osteoarthritis is a common form of arthritis.
This form of arthritis usually develops with age. Pain and stiffness arise due to this arthritis. People between the ages of 30 and 50 are usually affected with avascular necrosis. It can happen to both men and women. Some risk factors associated with avascular necrosis include pancreatitis, blood disorder, and Gaucher’s disease.
Symptoms of Avascular Necrosis
There may be no symptoms showing up early. Symptoms may develop slowly. Patients start experiencing joint pain when they put any weight on the joint. Later, pain arises even during resting. Pain may range from mild to severe. It may take several months for other symptoms to appear. The pain can occur in the buttock, groin, or thigh area.
As the disease progresses, symptoms may become severe and pain may become constant. This pain may limit the ability of the patient to perform physical activities. Severe symptoms may include stiffness of the hip joint and development of a limp during walking. These symptoms may even disturb sleep.
Treatments of Avascular Necrosis
Treatments of avascular necrosis vary depending upon the extent of the problem and the symptoms. Some treatments can reduce symptoms while some treatments help restore the functionality of the affected joint. Some salient treatments are described below:
- Total hip replacement is among commonly advised avascular necrosis treatments. It needs a long recovery period but may have a short life span.
- Medication can be a helpful treatment that provides relief from pain. Medication is effective in reducing the symptoms associated with avascular necrosis. Anti-inflammatory drugs like ibuprofen or aspirin can help patients suffering from arthritis.
- Exercise and physical therapy can be helpful treatments. Physical therapy is beneficial in the treatment of symptoms and pain. It helps improve motion.
- Bone grafting is another useful treatment. In this process, a healthy bone is transplanted to the necrosis-affected area. The bone transplanted is usually taken from another part of the body.
- Osteotomy treatment reshapes the affected bone to reduce stress. The treatment may require several months for complete recovery. Patients with a small area of avascular necrosis affected bone can be effectively treated using this procedure.
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