Aseptic Necrosis
(Avascular Necrosis or Osteonecrosis)

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Aseptic necrosis facts

  • Aseptic necrosis is a bone condition that results from poor blood supply to an area of bone, causing localized bone death.
  • Aseptic necrosis can be caused by trauma, damage to the blood vessels that supply bone its oxygen, poor blood circulation to the bone, abnormally thick blood (hypercoagulable state), and atherosclerosis or inflammation of the blood vessel walls (vasculitis).
  • Steroid medications (cortisone, such as prednisone [Deltasone, Liquid Pred] and methylprednisolone [Medrol, Depo-Medrol]) are the most common medications to cause aseptic necrosis.
  • Risk factors for aseptic necrosis include alcoholism, cortisone medications, Cushing's syndrome, radiation exposure, sickle cell disease, pancreatitis, Gaucher disease, and systemic lupus erythematosus.
  • Aseptic necrosis may or may not cause pain.
  • The treatment of aseptic necrosis is critically dependent on the stage of the condition.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 4/15/2014

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