In avascular necrosis, the bone degenerates and loses its strength and dies due to a restricted supply of blood to the living cells in the bone. The bone is supplied by nerves and blood vessels that undergo constant repair and regeneration. If the blood supply is cut off, the bone cells die. This causes the bone to collapse. The hip is the most affected joint as it has a deep socket and a wide range of motion. This makes the neck of the thigh bone particularly susceptible to this disorder.

For instance, if the flow of the blood in the hip from the main arteries to the femoral head is restricted, the bone can die and this is a classic example of avascular necrosis. In such conditions, another alternative to hip replacement is to undergo a procedure for a bone graft.

Causes

Necrosis avascular can affect any age group, but generally people between thirty to fifty years are more susceptible to this disorder. Those with existing medical conditions may also suffer from this disease. Other possible factors include diseases of the arteries, liver disease, smoking etc. The hips, knees, wrist and shoulder joints are likely to be affected by this disorder. There is a loss of the normal range of motion in the affected joint.

Symptoms

One of the first symptoms that is experienced by those suffering from avascular necrosis is pain in the affected area. Pain is reported to be felt even when the joint is rested and immobilized. Arthritis may develop gradually in sufferers of this disorder if it is not treated in quick time.

Treatment

Conservative treatment helps to prevent this disorder in its early stages. X-rays are taken to diagnose the severity of the disease and to target medication to prevent further degeneration of the bones in the affected area. You may be required to adjust activities that are likely to cause stress on the affected joints. Electrical current may help your body to grow new bone fragments to replace the ones damaged by avascular necrosis.
Taking weight off the joint may also help to relieve pain associated with avascular necrosis. Exercises are also recommended by medical practitioners to improve the range of motion in the affected joints. With early detection and treatment, which may involve resting or immobilizing the affected area, it is possible to minimize long term damage to the bones and joints.