Bones Home > Avascular Necrosis Treatment

There are many treatment options for avascular necrosis. The treatment may be conservative, such as medications, or it may involve surgery, such as a bone graft or joint replacement. In any case, treatment is necessary to keep joints from breaking down. Factors that determine the best treatment for a patient include the patient's age, the stage of the disease, the location and amount of bone affected, and other factors.

Avascular Necrosis Treatment: An Overview

Appropriate avascular necrosis treatment is necessary to keep joints from breaking down. If untreated, most patients will experience severe pain and limitation in movement within two years.
Several treatment options are available that can help prevent further bone and joint damage and reduce pain.
To determine the most appropriate way to treat avascular necrosis, the doctor considers the following aspects of a person's disease:
  • The person's age
  • The stage of avascular necrosis (early or late)
  • The location and amount of bone affected (a small or large area)
  • The underlying cause of avascular necrosis (with an ongoing cause, such as corticosteroid or alcohol use, treatment may not work unless use of the substance is stopped).
The goals of avascular necrosis treatment are:
  • Improve use of the affected joint
  • Stop further damage to the bone
  • Ensure bone and joint survival.
To reach these goals, the doctor may recommend either conservative treatment or surgery.
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
Last updated/reviewed:
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