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All about avascular necrosis causes of avascular necrosis risk factors for avascular necrosis symptoms of avascular necrosis diagnosis of avascular necrosis treatment for avascular necrosis

What're the risk factors for avascular necrosis?

Injury: When a joint is injured, as in a fracture or dislocation, the blood vessels may be damaged. This can interfere with the blood circulation to the bone and lead to trauma-related avascular necrosis. Studies suggest that this type of avascular

necrosis may develop in more than 20 percent of people who dislocate their hip joint.

Steroid Medications: Corticosteroids such as prednisone are commonly used to treat diseases in which there is inflammation, such as systemic lupus erythematosus, rheumatoid arthritis, and vasculitis. Studies suggest that long-term, systemic (oral or intravenous) corticosteroid use is associated with 35 percent of all cases of non-traumatic avascular necrosis. However, there is no known risk of avascular necrosis associated with the limited use of steroids. Patients should discuss concerns about steroid use with their doctor. Doctors aren't sure exactly why the use of corticosteroids sometimes lead to avascular necrosis. They may interfere with the body's ability to break down fatty substances. These substances then build up in and clog the blood vessels, causing them to narrow. This reduces the amount of blood that gets to the bone. Some studies suggest that corticosteroid-related avascular necrosis is more severe and more likely to affect both hips (when occurring in the hip) than avascular necrosis resulting from other causes.

Alcohol Use: Excessive alcohol use and corticosteroid use are two of the most common causes of non- traumatic avascular necrosis. In people who drink an excessive amount of alcohol, fatty substances may block blood vessels causing a decreased blood supply to the bones that results in avascular necrosis.

Other Risk Factors: Other risk factors or conditions associated with non-traumatic avascular necrosis include Gaucher's disease, pancreatitis, radiation treatments and chemotherapy, decompression disease, and blood disorders such as sickle cell disease.

More information on avascular necrosis

What is avascular necrosis? - Avascular necrosis of bone (aseptic necrosis or osteonecrosis), is a disease that results from poor blood supply to an area of bone causing bone death.
What causes avascular necrosis? - Avascular necrosis can be caused by trauma and damage to the blood vessels that supply bone its oxygen. A common cause is a fracture through the thigh bone.
What're the risk factors for avascular necrosis? - Risk factors for avascular necrosis include injury, steroid medications, alcohol use, Gaucher's disease, pancreatitis, radiation treatments and chemotherapy.
What're the symptoms of avascular necrosis? - The period of time between the first symptoms of avascular necrosis and loss of joint function is different for each patient.
How is avascular necrosis diagnosed? - The doctor may use one or more imaging techniques to diagnose avascular necrosis. MRI is the most sensitive method for diagnosing avascular necrosis in the early stages.
What's the treatment for avascular necrosis? - Treatment for avascular necrosis include use of NSAIDs or other analgesics for pain, and avoidance of weight-bearing or strain on affected bones and joints.
Bone, joint, & muscle disorders

Topics in bone, joint, and muscle disorders

Bone diseases
Bone tumors
Bone cancer
Muscle diseases
Spine (neck and back) disorders
Dupuytren's contracture
Plantar fasciitis
Rheumatoid arthritis
Juvenile rheumatoid arthritis
Septic arthritis (infectious Arthritis)
Psoriatic arthritis
Reiter's syndrome (reactive arthritis)
Ankylosing spondylitis
Gout (gouty arthritis)

All information is intended for reference only. Please consult your physician for accurate medical advices and treatment. Copyright 2005,, all rights reserved. Last update: July 18, 2005