Aseptic Necrosis of the Hip
Aseptic necrosis of the hip is the death of bone tissue in the head of the femur (thigh bone) due to poor blood supply.
There is a certain type of aseptic necrosis of the hip called Legg-Calvé-Perthes disease. It affects the growth plate at the upper end of the femur in children. It is most common in boys aged 5-10 years old.
|The Hip Joint|
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Aseptic necrosis of the hip is caused by any event or condition that damages the arteries that feed the head of the femur. The most common events are fractures in the upper femur and dislocations of the hip, especially developmental dysplasia of the hip. Other causes reduce the blood supply by closing off or compressing the blood vessels.
Factors that increase your chance of getting aseptic necrosis of the hip include:
- Femoral neck fractures
- Hip trauma
- Dislocation of the hip
- Radiation therapy
- Lengthy or repeated use of cortisone-like drugs
- Decompression sickness
- Sickle cell disease
- Gaucher disease
- Cushing disease
- Excessive alcohol use
- Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE)—especially if SLE is being treated with corticosteroids
- Chronic renal failure or renal transplantation
- HIV infection
Talk with your doctor about the best treatment plan for you. Treatment options include the following:
Your doctor or physical therapist may advise non-weight-bearing exercises to slow disease progression.
The following medications may be advised:
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, such as ibuprofen, to relieve pain
- Bisphosphonates to prevent the loss of bone mass
- Iloprost to relax blood vessels
- Enoxaparin to prevent blood clots
There are several surgical surgeries used to treat aseptic necrosis of the hip. The choice depends on the extent of disease and the age and health status of the patient. Bone grafts, decompression of the inside of the bone, realignment of the bone, femoral head resurfacing, and prosthetic hip replacement are some options.
This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.
Edits to original content made by Denver Health.
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a (Osteonecrosis of the Hip; Avascular Necrosis of the Hip; Ischemic Necrosis of the Hip; Osteochondritis Dissecans of the Hip)
Family Doctor—American Academy of Family Physicians http://www.familydoctor.org
OrthoInfo—American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons http://orthoinfo.aaos.org
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