Avascular necrosis is a condition that occurs from temporary or permanent poor supply of blood to the bones and result to death of the bone tissues. It causes breaks in the affected bone and eventually cause the bone to collapse.
Avascular necrosis can occur in any part of the body but usually common at the hip, knees, ankles and shoulders. Bone tissue regenerates or grows back again, but the rate of bone destruction is faster than the regeneration of bone. If the bone collapses, the structure of the joint will also break down and cause pain.
Causes of avascular necrosis
- Elevated pressure inside the bone causes the narrowing of the blood vessels and blood could not readily enter.
- Fracture or dislocation of the joint can cause disruption in the circulation.
- Excessive consumption of alcohol regularly for several years will result to fat accumulation in the blood vessels
- Radiation during cancer treatment weakens the bone
- Diseases such as diabetes, HIV/AIDS, sickle cell anemia, dialysis and organ transplant.
- Pain can be felt in the affected joint or bone such as in the groin which becomes worsen if bearing weight. Pain occurs at rest or at night.
- Walking with a limp
- Limited movement of the affected joints
- Deformity or disfigured joints
- If a nerve is compressed, the affected muscle becomes paralyzed
- Take plenty of rest. Minimize stress and weight on the affected bones for fast healing of the affected area. Minimize regular daily physical activities as much as possible.
- If the joint of the hip, ankle or knee is affected, use crutches or a walking cane to prevent pressure on the affected joints.
- Seek the help of the physical therapist for some exercises to maintain the flexibility of the joint. Stretching exercises such as using an exercise bike is helpful for the affected joints, promote proper circulation of blood in the area and strengthen the hips.
- Perform simple yoga or massage especially in the buttocks, anterior or lateral muscles of the hip and back.
- Limit consumption of alcohol to prevent worsening of the condition due to the high levels of fatty substances in the blood.
- Maintain low levels of cholesterol. Avoid hydrogenated oils, minimize whole dairy products and replace fried foods with low or non-fat foods. Cut visible fat on red meat and consume foods rich in Omega 3 fatty acids such as fish, flax seeds, walnuts, soybeans, tuna and olive oil.
- Take the prescribed over-the-counter pain medications such as ibuprofen to lessen the pain and swelling