How Can Avascular Necrosis of the Hip Be Avoided?

Featured Image

Avascular necrosis of the hip, also known as osteonecrosis, is a debilitating condition characterized by the death of bone tissue due to a lack of blood supply. Without adequate blood flow, the affected bone tissue begins to deteriorate, leading to pain, limited mobility, and potentially severe complications. However, there are some strategies that may help. Here, orthopedic specialist Dr. Christopher Williams of Interventional Orthopedics of Atlanta outlines what avascular necrosis of the hip is, strategies for prevention, and the role of treatments like extracorporeal shock wave therapy (ESWT) and demineralized bone matrix in managing this condition in Atlanta, GA.

What causes avascular necrosis of the hip?

Avascular necrosis of the hip occurs when the blood supply to the femoral head — which is the rounded top of the thigh bone that fits into the hip socket — becomes compromised. Without a sufficient blood supply, the bone tissue begins to die, leading to structural damage and eventual collapse of the hip joint. Several factors can contribute to the development of avascular necrosis, including:

  • Trauma or injury to the hip joint
  • Chronic use of corticosteroid medications
  • Excessive alcohol consumption
  • Certain medical conditions, such as sickle cell disease, lupus, and HIV
  • Radiation therapy

Will avascular necrosis of the hip get worse over time?

The early stages of avascular necrosis may be asymptomatic, but as the condition progresses, patients may experience pain, stiffness, and difficulty walking or bearing weight on the affected hip. Without intervention, avascular necrosis can lead to severe joint damage and often necessitates extensive surgical intervention, such as hip replacement surgery.

Can avascular necrosis of the hip be prevented?

While some risk factors for avascular necrosis — such as trauma or certain medical conditions — may be unavoidable, there are a few steps people can take to reduce their risk of avascular hip necrosis in Atlanta. These include:

  • Limiting alcohol consumption
  • Avoiding corticosteroid medications when possible
  • Maintaining a healthy lifestyle, including eating a balanced diet and exercising regularly
  • Working with your healthcare provider to manage underlying conditions that could contribute to avascular necrosis

How is avascular necrosis of the hip treated?

When diagnosed early, avascular necrosis of the hip may be managed with conservative treatments aimed at relieving pain and preserving joint function. However, in cases where conservative measures are ineffective, or the condition has progressed significantly, more advanced interventions may be necessary. Depending on the nature and severity of your condition, Dr. Williams may recommend managing your hip necrosis with one of the following:

Depending on the specifics of your case, Dr. Williams may recommend additional or alternative treatments, lifestyle modifications, and more to help manage your avascular necrosis of the hip as effectively as possible.

Keep your health in check with management of avascular necrosis of the hip in Atlanta, GA

Avascular necrosis of the hip is a complex condition that can significantly impact quality of life if left untreated. However, with early diagnosis and appropriate management, patients with avascular necrosis often experience improved outcomes and maintain joint function. If you're experiencing symptoms of avascular necrosis or have concerns about your hip health, don't hesitate to call Interventional Orthopedics of Atlanta to schedule your consultation with Atlanta, GA pain management and orthopedic specialist Dr. Christopher Williams today.

* All information subject to change. Images may contain models. Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary.