Bones Home > Avascular Necrosis Information

Although avascular necrosis can occur in any bone, the condition tends to affect the ends of long bones, such as the femur (the bone extending from the knee joint to the hip joint). It develops when blood supply to the bones is cut off, either temporarily or permanently. This condition does not always cause symptoms in the early stages, but as it progresses, symptoms may include:
 
What causes avascular necrosis? There are several possible causes; they can be separated as those related to trauma and those not related to trauma. The two most common nontraumatic causes are steroid medicines and alcohol use.
 
To stop bone damage, improve use of the affected joint, and ensure bone and joint survival, your healthcare provider may recommend a number of treatment options, including surgery.
 
(For more information on this topic, click Avascular Necrosis. This full-length article explores this condition in greater detail, with information on who is affected by it, how your healthcare provider will make a diagnosis, and what can happen if the condition goes untreated.)
 
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
Last updated/reviewed:
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