It is hard to imagine bone as a living tissue as it is. Made by osteoblasts, bone is as much a living tissue as any other tissue in the body. And just like any other body organ, a lack of blood supply can lead to the death of bone which is called Avascular Necrosis.
When the blood supply is halted, this passed-away bone (it is still present, but not any longer), slowly breaks and collapses eventually. This can take months but it does happen. And the worst part is – it can happen without any symptoms.
”Avascular necrosis can happen in cases of injury, a certain type of diseases and unfortunately, due to fat deposits in blood vessels which is hard to detect”, says top joint replacement surgeon in Mumbai Dr Niraj Vora. Given the seriousness of the threat of Avascular Necrosis, we have asked Dr Niraj Vora about the symptoms, causes and treatment and prevention options for Avascular Necrosis. Read on to know his answers:
Avascular Necrosis Symptoms:
The patients may not show any symptoms in the early stages. In general, the Avascular Necrosis symptoms depend upon the causes of the condition. Weakness and pain that spread over the affected area are common symptoms of Avascular Necrosis. The commonly affected parts include the hip, hand, knee, foot and shoulder.
Avascular Necrosis Causes:
Avascular necrosis is triggered when the blood supply to the bone is cut off due to:
Joint injury or dislocation: The joint injury or dislocation may damage the surrounding blood vessels cutting the blood flow.
Fat deposits in blood vessels: Just like a heart attack that is caused due to disruption of blood flow to the heart, bone can slowly die when the fat deposits damage the blood flow.
Genetics, certain medications & diseases: Certain diseases like sick cell anaemia, cancer treatment, medications or even genetics may also cause Avascular Necrosis.
X-ray, MRI, Bony scan and CT scan are performed to diagnose Avascular Necrosis and treatment is suggested according to the severity of the condition.
Treatment for Avascular Necrosis:
Treatment for Avascular Necrosis depends on the severity. In the early stages, medications, cholesterol-lowering drugs, blood thinners, vasodilators and osteoporosis drugs are suggested to control the symptoms. In mild cases, therapy, rest, electric stimulation, and exercises may also be suggested.
In severe cases, core decompression where the inner layer of the bone is removed to stimulate bone generation may be performed. In addition to this bone reshaping, bone transplant and even joint replacement may also consider depending on the specific case of the patient.
How to prevent bone death in Avascular Necrosis?
There are certain risk factors that are found to increase the risk of Avascular Necrosis. Heavy consumption of alcohol, smoking, high cholesterol levels, and increased steroid usage are these risk factors which one must be wary of.
If you are experiencing any of the above symptoms without apparent reason then you are suggested to consult an orthopaedic surgeon or joint specialist as soon as possible. If you are in Mumbai and are looking for Avascular Necrosis treatment, you can contact him here: @Call: +91-22-6686 8600