What is avascular necrosis?
When the blood supply to the bone tissue decreases or is completely cut off, the tissue starts to degenerate and ultimately dies. This is called avascular necrosis or osteonecrosis. Death of bone tissues may cause tiny cracks or breaks in the bones and eventually lead it to collapse completely. The hip joint is one of the most commonly affected regions in the body.
How does it happen?
The blood flow to a section of the bone can be interrupted if the bone is fractured or the joint is dislocated. Cancer treatments that involve radiation can also weaken bones and harm blood vessels. Excessive alcohol intake or long term use of high-dose steroid medications can also cause avascular necrosis. Some medical conditions, such as sickle cell anaemia or Gaucher’s disease, can increase the pressure inside the bone, making it more difficult for fresh blood to enter it. While it can happen to anyone, it is more commonly seen in men between the ages of 30 to 60 years.
A person’s risk of developing avascular necrosis may be alleviated by certin diseases, medical treatments or personal habits.