Avascular Necrosis (AVN)

Avascular Necrosis (AVN)

In order for tissue to remain healthy and function normally, it requires a healthy blood (vascular) supply. Patients can develop a rare condition in a bone called avascular (“without blood”) necrosis (“death/dying”), or AVN, where the bone loses blood supply, dies, and then fractures and collapses. AVN usually affects bone just under the joint surface and can lead to arthritis. There are two types of AVN: traumatic and atraumatic. Traumatic AVN may occur following an injury such as a dislocation, while atraumatic can happen with certain diseases, blood disorders, or taking medication such as corticosteroids. Occasionally, it can develop for no discernible reason. If detected early by MRI, some AVN lesions can heal with rest and activity restriction. Gentle physical therapy can help to maintain motion during the rest period and restore strength and motion once the injury is healed. Often surgery is required to stimulate, re-vascularize, and repair the avascular necrosis. Dr. Chudik can perform arthroscopic surgery to evaluate the AVN lesion.

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