Osteonecrosis, or avascular necrosis, is a condition where a bone’s blood supply is interrupted, leading to bone cell death and potential bone collapse. It most commonly affects the hip joint but can also impact other joints, like the knee, shoulder and ankle.

Several factors, including trauma, steroid use, alcohol consumption and certain medical conditions, can cause osteonecrosis. If you have been diagnosed with osteonecrosis, there are ways to manage your condition.

Osteonecrosis Management Tips

Unfortunately, osteonecrosis is not curable; however, early detection can help manage the symptoms. Eventually, you may need surgery. Here are ten tips for managing the condition while it is in its early stages.

Early Diagnosis is Vital

Seeking medical attention is vital if you are experiencing joint pain or stiffness, especially if you have risk factors for osteonecrosis, such as a history of trauma or long-term steroid use.

Reduce Weight-Bearing Activities

Limiting activities that stress the affected joint can reduce the risk of further damage. Low-impact exercises like cycling or swimming could be a more suitable alternative.

Medication Management

Pain medication and anti-inflammatory drugs can be prescribed to help manage the discomfort associated with osteonecrosis.

Avoid Alcohol and Smoking

Alcohol and smoking can affect bone health and blood flow, increasing the risk of bone death.

Physical Therapy

Physical therapy often helps improve joint range of motion, strength and flexibility.

Joint Replacement Surgery

In advanced cases, surgery is necessary to relieve pain and restore joint function.

Stem Cell Therapy

Stem cell therapy is an emerging regenerative treatment that involves injecting stem cells into the affected joint to promote healing and tissue regeneration.

Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) Therapy

PRP therapy involves injecting a patient’s concentrated platelets into the affected joint, which can help reduce inflammation and promote healing.

Nutritional Supplements

Certain nutritional supplements, such as vitamin D and calcium, can help support bone health.

Consult a Specialist

Consulting an orthopedic specialist with osteonecrosis experience can help ensure proper diagnosis and management.

Scheduling a Consultation with a Joint Specialist

If you are experiencing joint stiffness or pain, seek medical attention immediately. AC Joint Separation is a leading orthopedic practice specializing in treating osteonecrosis. Contact us to organize a meeting with Dr. Steven Struhl to discuss your treatment options.

Posted on behalf of Steven Struhl MD