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Members' feedback

"I'm finding it shocking and surprising the number of new people joining the community. Let me explain. I was diagnosed with AVN first in both knees back in 2005, over the next few years it was found in both hips and shoulders. I had never come across AVN before and felt like I was the only person with it, I was always having to explain to people what it was."
"Thankfully I found this website and community over a year ago and realised I was not the only one suffering with AVN, it has been such a help talking to fellow sufferers who understand what I am going through."
Text taken from a recent post in our community forum.

Join us

If you are suffering from avascular necrosis AVN Osteonecrosis ON, or are close to someone that is, please consider joining our AVN Charity UK community. You will find many shared experiences about AVN and how it affects each of us differently, importantly there are also excellent success stories about the road to "Pain Free".
We also welcome any health professionals who are involved in any way with Avascular Necrosis AVN, please let us know how you think you can help.

About Avascular Necrosis AVN

Typical AVN Symptoms

Initial diagnosisInitial diagnosisInitial diagnosisThe symptoms of Avascular Necrosis of the hip, knee or any affected joint can present themselves at different times depending on the activities a person is carrying out at any given time. The description of the symptoms in the most general sense is that a person will experience hip, knee or other joint pain.

AVN symptoms can easily be confused with many other conditions.

This symptoms are often presented as follows:

  • Persistent (chronic) pain.
  • Disrupted sleep.
  • Prescribed medication giving only limited pain relief.
  • Difficulty ascending or descending stairs.
  • Increased pain when getting up from sitting, or sitting down from standing.
  • Unable to follow normal activities due to pain.

Initial diagnosis

During this time these symptoms will be discussed with your GP, as the problems and pains do not improve, your GP will then arrange for a referral to a Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon (OS).

On the first consultation the OS will make general examination; checking range of joint movements, alignment issues and in some detail understanding your symptoms.
and MRI scan will follow and the results of these will help the OS make his diagnosis.
It may take a subsequent referral for the final diagnosis to be made as many other conditions give similar symptoms.

Your GP will be notified and will take care of pain management and control. Your GP will be your first point of contact for any changes in your symptoms.

What has happened inside the joint

What has happened inside the AVN jointWhat has happened inside the AVN jointWhat has happened inside the AVN jointReduced blood supply has allowed the bone at the joint site to start to die. This results in fluids and gases building up pressure within the bone, giving the chronic pain.

This can be observed as Bone Marrow Oedema on MRI scans but not normally evident on X-rays. The pains will continue until the fluids and gases from the necrosis are finally absorbed into the body, this process can take many months.

Throughout all this the pain levels can fluctuate, causing confusion for the sufferer as to what is going on.

This dying or dead bone is now structurally vulnerable. For both hips and knees as major weight bearing joints, they will be under mechanical stress from our normal body and limb movement, the affected bone then starts to break up, these 'break away' areas are known as lesions. Additional pain is observed as partial joint collapse takes place, finally the joint collapses.

Additionally, for many people during this process the mechanical joint alignment can be compromised, in the cases of AVN in the hips, knees or ankles it can result in "turn-in" or "turn-out" of the joint. This "turn-in" or "turn-out" of the joint will often create a pronounced limp or uneven gait, which is separate to a limp caused by the pain.

Last Updated on Thursday, 01 January 2015 21:11