Avascular necrosis (AVN), also called osteonecrosis, refers to bone tissue death caused by a loss of blood supply to the tissue. AVN most commonly affects the joints in the hips, shoulders, knees, hands, and ankles. Many conditions can increase the risk of developing AVN, such as:
- Autoimmune disorders, such as rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, or HIV/AIDs
- Blockages in the arteries and blood vessels
- Damage from broken bones or dislocated joints
Smoking, severe alcohol use, and excessive corticosteroid use are other causes.
AVN is a progressive condition, which means it gets worse over time. Left untreated, it causes the bone to weaken and eventually collapse. The main symptom in avascular necrosis is pain when you put weight on the affected joint, which eventually leads to constant pain, even at rest.
Treating AVN focuses on reducing pain, slowing bone damage, and improving lost function. Because it’s a progressive condition, most people with AVN require orthopedic surgery.
Let the orthopaedic experts at University of Miami Health System find the most effective treatment for you, including non-surgical and surgical approaches. We offer appointments as soon as possible — often the same day or within 24 hours.
Many people with advanced AVN require surgery. The surgical options we offer include core decompression, bone reshaping osteotomy (cutting of the bone to correct a problem), hip replacement, ankle replacement, knee replacement, and hip preservation surgery.
Depending on your particular case of AVN, we offer a variety of non-surgical treatments. These include medicines to manage the underlying cause (if known) and symptoms, electrical stimulation, ultrasound-guided injections, or physical therapy exercises to help improve your range of motion.
Your orthopaedic doctor will conduct a thorough exam and ask for your health history to diagnose this condition.
Your doctor may order an imaging test such as an X-ray, a computerized tomography (CT) scan, or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to confirm a more serious injury like a fracture.
Why Choose UHealth?
Highly experienced in treating a full range of orthopaedic conditions. Our team of fellowship-trained orthopaedic specialists works together with a multidisciplinary group of physicians and scientists to provide high-quality care to people with benign (noncancerous) and malignant (cancerous) conditions. These include musculoskeletal diseases, bone and soft tissue sarcomas, metastatic diseases, benign neoplasms of bone and soft tissue, and all types of orthopedic injuries.
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