Avascular Necrosis Of Hip: Overview And Management For Healthy Bone

Posted On Jan 18, 2023

4 Min Read

Dr. Kiran Kumar Mannava

Consultant - Orthopaedics


Avascular Necrosis of Hip Treatment in Vijayawada

Avascular necrosis (AVN) of the hip is a painful condition caused by a disruption in the blood supply to the head of the femur (thighbone). Because bones require a constant supply of blood to stay healthy, osteonecrosis can eventually lead to arthritis of the hip joint.

Osteonecrosis or aseptic necrosis are other names for avascular necrosis (AVN) of the hip. Although it can affect any bone, avascular necrosis of the hip is usually seen in the hip. The disease usually affects both hips. Post covid, the incidence of AVN Hip has increased.

What Happens in Avascular Necrosis of the Hip?

Our body creates new tissue to replace the tissue that is ageing and dying. This pattern must be followed properly in order to keep our bones healthy and strong. Blood transports oxygen and nutrients that bones need to stay healthy and regenerate. Without blood flow, our skeletal system cannot produce enough new bone tissue. The dying bone crumbles and eventually collapses. Visit a top hospital for avascular necrosis of hip treatment in Vijayawada

Cause and Risk Factors of Avascular Necrosis of Hip

Avascular necrosis results when blood flow to a bone is disrupted or diminished. Blood supply reductions can result from:

  • Trauma

Any injury, like a dislocated joint, could harm the blood vessels in the area. 

  • Deposit of fat in blood vessels

Small blood vessels may become blocked by lipids in fat. This can decrease the blood supply to the bones.

  • Disease prevalence

Gaucher's disease and sickle cell anaemia are two illnesses that can reduce blood supply to the bones.

  • Steroid use

Avascular necrosis is frequently brought on by the use of high-dose corticosteroids. Although the cause is uncertain, some experts suggest that corticosteroids may cause blood lipid levels to rise, decreasing blood flow.

  • Excessive alcohol consumption

Fatty deposits can also develop in blood vessels after several years of consuming numerous alcoholic beverages every day.

  • Medications

Long-term usage of bone-density-boosting drugs may raise the risk of developing osteonecrosis of the jaw. This uncommon consequence has happened in some patients receiving high doses of these drugs for cancer.

AVN that is not the result of trauma can occasionally have unknown causes. Excessive alcohol consumption, certain drugs, and other illnesses most likely play a part.

Symptoms of Avascular Necrosis of Hip

AVN of hip/ Osteonecrosis happens gradually. Usually, hip pain is the first sign. A dull discomfort or throbbing pain in the groin or buttock region could result. Standing and bearing weight on the affected hip becomes increasingly challenging as the condition advances, and movement of the hip joint becomes painful.

The condition may take several months to more than a year to advance. Early osteonecrosis diagnosis is crucial since research suggests that earlier therapy has better results.

Examination of Avascular Necrosis of Hip

In the initial phase, X-rays are used as the standard diagnostic approach, and MRI is vital for  AVN diagnosis in cases of pain in the hip joints. A low threshold in MRI will allow early diagnosis, which suggests the integration of immediate therapy & offers assistance by stopping and delaying the damage done to the bones and joints.

Treatments of Avascular Necrosis of Hip

The objectives of treatment for AVN are pain relief, flowing down the disease process erosion. The optimal course of action will depend on various factors, including the patient’s age, stage of the disease, location and amount of damaged bone, and the cause of AVN.

The basic treatment includes the use of medication for pain relief. There may be a requirement for crutches to take off the weight of damaged hip joints. Also, some motion exercises are recommended for the hip joints' movement.

  • Medications such as blood thinners, NSAIDs, cholesterol drugs, etc.

  • Surgical options such as core decompression, bone grafts, osteotomy, core decompression, vascularised bone graft, and Total hip replacement. 

For diagnosis and treatment, consult a top orthopaedics doctor in Vijayawada.

Common Facts About Avascular Necrosis of Hip

AVN affects people of any age group. Many people who have recovered from COVID-19 have complained about hip pain, which is now very concerning with long-term devastating complications post-COVID. The symptoms are often 6–9 months after recovery from the covid-related illness. AVN leads to symptoms of pain in the hip joint, buttocks, and upper thigh region. Other symptoms include stiffness, lack of ability to carry the weight on the affected leg, and limping. Hence, early diagnosis in such conditions is regarded as crucial for treatment.

Department of Orthopaedics

Manipal Hospitals, Vijayawada