What Can Cause Avascular Necrosis of the Hip?

Featured Image

Formally known as osteonecrosis, or death of bone tissue, avascular necrosis of the hip can be a debilitating condition that is technically caused by a lack of blood supply to the femoral head in the hip joint. When blood supply is compromised, the affected bone tissue will start to deteriorate, which can cause severe pain, mobility issues, and other complications. While trauma and injury are common causes of avascular hip necrosis, you may be surprised to learn that certain lifestyle choices, some medications, underlying health conditions, and other seemingly benign factors can also lead to this painful problem. Here, orthopedic specialist Dr. Christopher Williams of Interventional Orthopedics of Atlanta provides additional information about the potential causes of avascular necrosis of the hip and what treatment options can help if you develop the condition in Atlanta.

What causes avascular necrosis of the hip?

Avascular necrosis of the hip is anatomically caused by a lack of blood supply to the femoral head — which is the rounded top of the thigh bone that fits into the hip socket. Sustaining an injury to the hip can damage tissues and inhibit blood flow, ultimately leading to necrosis of the bone material, but there are several other potential causes and risk factors for avascular necrosis of the hip. Some of the most common causes of hip necrosis include:

  • 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

How can you prevent avascular necrosis of the hip?

It may not always be possible to avoid avascular necrosis of the hip, but there are some things you can do to help lower your risk of hip necrosis, including:

  • Avoiding corticosteroid medications if possible after a consultation with your provider
  • Minimizing alcohol consumption
  • Eating a balanced diet
  • Exercising regularly
  • Managing any known risk factors with the guidance of your physician

How is hip necrosis treated?

When left untreated, avascular necrosis of the hip can progress over time and cause worsening pain, immobility, and other problems. When diagnosed early, however, there are several treatments that can help relieve hip necrosis pain and potentially preserve joint function. When conservative treatments are ineffective, or your condition worsens, a more extensive treatment course may be necessary. Following a thorough evaluation and assessment of your condition, which may include a physical exam, imaging studies, and other diagnostic tools, Dr. Williams will recommend the most appropriate course of action possible for you. Depending on the nature and severity of your bone necrosis, this may include one or more of the following:

Be proactive about your bone health with avascular hip necrosis treatment in Atlanta, GA

Whether you're at risk for avascular joint necrosis due to injury or lifestyle, or you've already been diagnosed with the condition and are seeking treatment and pain relief options, we are here to help. To learn more about managing avascular necrosis of the hip and preventing progressive symptoms, call us at 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.