Learn About

Avascular Necrosis
of the Hip

What is Avascular Necrosis of the Hip?

Avascular Necrosis (AVN) of the Hip is a condition where the bone of the hip begins to degenerate due to decreased blood flow to the bone.  When blood flow to the bone is stopped, the bone will deteriorate and become unstable and can eventually fracture. The common area for AVN in the hip is the ball-shaped joint of the hip, known as the femoral head.

In its early stages, AVN of the hip may not produce any symptoms.  However, as the condition progresses you may feel pain when bearing weight on the hip or pain in the groin or buttocks.

The Board Certified Orthopaedic and Sports Medicine Specialists at OSS Health have helped thousands of patients with AVN return to an active and healthy lifestyle using a variety of treatment options.

AVN is commonly a result of an underlying health condition including:

Dislocation of the Femur:

A previous dislocation of the femur can cause the interrupted blood supply to the bone and can increase the risk of AVN.

Corticosteroid Use:

Corticosteroids are commonly used as a way to decrease inflammation in the joints.  However, prolonged use of these substances has been linked to increased risk of AVN.  Although the reason is not completely understood, research suggests that these drugs may interfere with the body’s ability to break down certain substances and these substances can build up in the blood vessels and cause them to become constricted.

Excessive Drinking of Alcohol:

Alcohol has also been linked to the build-up of fatty substances in the blood vessels and causing them to become constricted.

How Is Avascular Necrosis of the Hip Treated at OSS Health?

The Board Certified Orthopaedic Surgeons at OSS Health offer a variety of treatment options for AVN of the Hip.  These treatments are prescribed based on the severity of the condition as well as the underlying cause. In some cases, non-surgical treatment options may be used.

These treatments can include:

  • Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medication
  • Blood-thinning medications
  • Physical therapy
  • Home exercises

In cases where the condition has progressed and the hip joint is severely damaged, your OSS Health Specialist may recommend a surgical procedure.  

These procedures may include:

  • Bone graft or transplant
  • Core decompression
  • Bone osteotomy
  • Hip Replacement Surgery

Disclaimer: If this is a medical emergency, please dial 911 or report to your nearest emergency room.

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