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What is avascular necrosis?

Q: I am a 58 years old male had a surgery on my left leg for femur fracture. I have to undergo a hip joint replacement surgery as I have avascular necrosis. I don't want to get operated now. Now, I am taking medicines having vitamin D, calcium etc. for the last two weeks. What is avascular necrosis?

A:Avascular necrosis is the death of bone tissue due to a lack of blood supply. Also called osteonecrosis, avascular necrosis can lead to tiny breaks in the bone and the bone's eventual collapse.

The blood flow to a section of bone can be interrupted if the bone is fractured or the joint becomes dislocated. The most common joint affected by avascular necrosis is the hip. Avascular necrosis worsens with time, so managing it is a lifelong process.

If your condition has been diagnosed as avascular necrosis the definitive treatment for the same will depend on the severity of the avascular necrosis. For long-standing and severe avascular necrosis the treatment usually is hip replacement. The best approach at this time would be to consult your orthopaedic surgeon and get an MRI to look for the grading of the avascular necrosis and then discuss the treatment options available depending on the results of the MRI.

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