Osteonecrosis or Avascular Necrosis in the hip occurs when the blood supply to the femoral head is disrupted. This femoral head is attached to the socket in the pelvic bone which forms the hip joint. Osteonecrosis of the hip results in pain around the hip, it is more commonly seen in males than females. AVN of the hip could have been caused by joint dislocation, fracture, existing medical ailments, excessive intake of alcohol & smoking or high dose of steroid medications.
The femoral head dies and gradually collapses without the necessary nourishment. The number of risk factors that can develop AVN condition in the hip can vary. The most common factors have been elaborated below:
- Injuries: Any injuries like hip dislocations, fractures and other injuries to the hip can damage the blood vessels and disrupt the blood circulation to the femoral head.
- Excess of alcohol: Overconsumption of alcohol leads to increase in cortisone levels in the blood levels, resulting in decrease of blood supply to the bone.
- High dose of Steroid medicines: Other diseases like arthritis and asthma are usually treated with steroid medications, which can eventually lead to Avascular necrosis.
- Existing ailments: Avascular necrosis is associated with other existing ailments like sickle cell disease, thrombosis, Gaucher’s disease, arterial embolism and a few more.
Avascular necrosis(AVN) may not have any symptoms in the initial stages. As the condition gradually progresses, it starts with mild pain and increases over time. This limits the range of motion in the joint. AVN of the hip centers on the thigh, buttock or groin area. Some patients may develop the AVN condition on both sides.
Avascular Necrosis Treatment Options:
The treatment options for AVN of the hip can include conservative treatments, regenerative medicine or surgery.
In this treatment, anti-inflammatory drugs are used to relieve pain.
The progression of avascular necrosis can be slowed down with osteoporosis medications.
To prevent blockage of blood vessels, cholesterol lowering medications are used.
To prevent clots in blood vessels, blood thinners are used in prescribed dosage.
Physical activity is restricted to lower the pressure on the affected area and ample rest is prescribed.
Bone marrow aspirate concentrate is extracted from bone marrow and is injected into the affected area in regenerative medicine procedures.
Regenerative medicine procedures help in treating AVN conditions in the hip and regenerate a new bone.
- In the surgical process, a healthy bone from another part of the body is used to provide strength to the affected area, this process is typically called the bone transplant or bone grafting.
- Another process in surgical methods is to remove the inner layer of the affected bone, this is known as core decompression.
- In bone osteotomy, a part of the bone is removed from the joint to lower the pressure on the damaged bone.
- In case of bone collapse or other treatment failures, the damaged parts of the joint are replaced with metal or plastic parts.