Osteonecrosis, also called avascular necrosis, occurs when a bone receives less blood and oxygen than it needs. Without treatment, the bone may start to break down and eventually collapse. This condition usually affects bones in the hip or knee joints but can be seen in other large joints such as the shoulder or elbow as well. It usually causes aching pain, stiffness, and a progressive loss of mobility.
Surgeons at NYU Langone Orthopedic Hospital, have the expertise to recognize the early signs of osteonecrosis. Our experts encourage evaluation for osteonecrosis in people who have joint pain and one or more risk factors—for example, long-term corticosteroid use—that may increase risk of osteonecrosis. Doctors confirm the diagnosis using MRI scans or X-rays, and customize a treatment plan designed to stop the disease from progressing, preserve the joint, and help you remain active.
Medication may be able to reverse bone damage if osteonecrosis is diagnosed before it is advanced. If the disease has caused severe damage, surgeons who specialize in joint-preserving and joint-replacement surgeries can perform procedures designed to improve mobility and relieve pain.
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