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Avascular Necrosis

Treatment for Avascular Necrosis

Specific treatment for avascular necrosis will be determined by your physician based on:

  • Your age, overall health, and medical history
  • Extent of the disease
  • Location and amount of bone affected
  • Underlying cause of the disease
  • Your tolerance for specific medications, procedures, or therapies
  • Expectations for the course of the disease
  • Your opinion or preference

The goal of treatment for avascular necrosis is to improve functionality or to stop further damage to the affected bone or joint. Treatments are necessary to keep joints from breaking down, and may include:

  • Medications (to control pain)
  • Assistive devices (to reduce weight on the bone or joint)
  • Core decompression - a surgical procedure in which the inner layer of bone is removed to reduce pressure, allow for increased blood flow, and slow or stop bone and/or joint destruction.
  • Osteotomy - a surgical procedure to reshape the bone and reduce stress on the affected area.
  • Bone graft - a surgical procedure in which healthy bone is transplanted from another part of the patient's body into the affected area.
  • Arthroplasty (total joint replacement) - a surgical procedure to remove and replace an arthritic or damaged joint with an artificial joint (called a prosthesis); may be considered only after other treatment options have failed to provide adequate relief from pain and/or disability.

Other treatments for avascular necrosis may include electrical stimulation and combination therapies to encourage the growth of new bone.