Article Index
Treatments - Page 1
Treatments - Page 2
Treatments - Page 3
All Pages

Treatments for AVN. Page 1 of 3

Treatments for avascular necrosis AVN offered by different Orthopaedic Surgeons will vary between cases, the patients age will also be taken into consideration on any decision or recommendation.

Goals for all treatments

Hospital treatments for AVNHospital treatments for AVN

Preserve joint function and strength.

Relieve symptoms.

Halt the progress of the disease.

Decrease symptoms.

Decision for surgical intervention using x-rays, MRI scans, clinical and physical symptoms.

Limiting load bearing

There is no indication that this prevents the final collapse of the joint, but pain relief can be effective. Load bearing can be achieved simply by using a walking stick, crutches or wheelchair for extended mobility. Even a combination of the three depending on individual circumstances.

Core decompression

Removing part of the inside of the bone (core decompression) to relieve pressure and allow new blood vessels to form. This involves drilling small holes in the bone from the uninfected through to the infected part of the bone. This encouraging blood to flow to the infected part with the hope of regrowth.

For hips

The simplest operation is to drill one or several holes through the femoral neck and into the femoral head, trying to reach the area that lacks blood supply. The drill bores out a plug of bone within the femoral head. This operation is thought to do two things: (1) it creates a channel for new blood vessels to quickly form into the area that lacks blood supply, and (2) it relieves some of the pressure inside the bone of the femoral head. Relieving this pressure seems to help decrease the pain patients experience from AVN.

Decompression is often accompanied by the use of bone grafts with or without growth factors, a procedure designed to stimulate bone growth at the site of the defect. The donated bone comes from the patient (taken from the pelvic bone or lower leg). The bone is crushed up into tiny pieces and applied to the hole or defect caused by the necrotic process.

The decompression operation (with or without bone grafting) is done through a very small incision in the side of the thigh. The surgeon watches on a fluoroscope as a drill is used. A fluoroscope is a type of X-ray that shows the bones on a TV screen. The surgeon uses the fluoroscope to guide the drill where it needs to go. This operation is usually done as an outpatient procedure, and you will be able to go home with crutches the same day.