Hip Avascular Necrosis

Hip avascular necrosis, also referred to as osteonecrosis of the hip, occurs when the blood supply to the head of the thighbone (femur) is interrupted, causing the bone and its protective cartilage to die and slowly collapse. 

What You Should Know

The exact cause of hip avascular necrosis isn’t always clear, but physicians have identified the following factors that may increase your risk:

  • A history of hip fractures, dislocations, and other hip injuries
  • Certain medical conditions, including vasculitis, Crohn’s disease, sickle cell disease, thrombosis, and others
  • Excessive alcohol consumption
  • Long-term corticosteroid use

Additionally, men are more likely to develop hip avascular necrosis than women.

Hip avascular necrosis symptoms

The symptoms of hip avascular necrosis are usually subtle at first and progress as the disease advances. Individuals with this condition may begin to notice hip pain that leads to an aching sensation or throbbing discomfort around the buttock or groin area. Eventually, it may become difficult or impossible to stand comfortably or put any weight on the impacted hip joint.

If you are experiencing hip pain that does not improve with self-care measures like gentle stretching and rest, be sure to promptly speak with a medical professional. Early diagnosis of hip conditions often leads to better outcomes.

Hip avascular necrosis treatment options

Conservative methods like activity modification, crutches, and anti-inflammatory drugs can help people with hip avascular necrosis manage their symptoms, but core decompression surgery or other procedures are typically recommended to help preserve the hip joint. In advanced cases where the femoral head has completely collapsed, total hip replacement may be necessary.

Orthopaedic Specialists helps patients in the Greater Pittsburgh Region find relief from hip avascular necrosis and improve their quality of life. To schedule an appointment with one of our board-certified orthopedic physicians, contact us today.

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