What is the treatment for avascular necrosis?
Patients that were diagnosed with avascular necrosis (AVN) in the early development stages may respond well to non-surgical therapies alone. Bisphosphonate medications can be used to slow bone deterioration and, over time, even improve bone density. Other medications, such as statins, might be utilized to lower the number of fatty deposits found in the blood vessels. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy can also be implemented to alleviate pain by decreasing the body’s inflammatory response.
Surgical intervention is often recommended for early avascular necrosis (AVN) to prevent cartilage collapse and subsequent osteoarthritis. There are various surgical procedures that can be implemented by Dr. Patel, such as:
- Core Decompression: The goal of this procedure is to relieve any pressure on the femoral head and restore blood flow back to the hip joint. This is accomplished by drilling several small holes that create channels for new blood vessels.
- Osteochondral Graft: A bone and/or cartilage graft can be harvested from the patient (autograft) or donor tissue (allograft) to reconstruct the damaged bone or cartilage tissue. This procedure is often combined with core decompression to improve recovery outcomes.
- Vascularized Bone Graft: This procedure removes a portion of the fibula (smaller lower extremity bone) with the associated blood supply intact. The bone and vasculature are then integrated into the femoral head.
- Total Hip Replacement: This surgical procedure is reserved for patients with advanced AVN with articular cartilage damage and osteoarthritis. The femoral head and cartilage are reconstructed using a metal and/or plastic prosthesis to restore hip function and joint movement.