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Aseptic Necrosis (cont.)

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What are symptoms of aseptic necrosis?

Aseptic necrosis begins as a painless bone abnormality. It can remain painless. The involved bone often later develops pain, especially with use. For example, if a hip joint develops avascular necrosis in the ball of the hip joint, pain can be noted, especially upon weight-bearing. As the ball of the hip joint collapses from the degeneration of the bone from aseptic necrosis, pain in the groin can be felt with hip rotation and pain can sometimes be noted with rest after weight-bearing.

How is aseptic necrosis diagnosed?

The diagnosis of aseptic necrosis can often, but not always, be made with plain film X-rays. By the time changes are apparent by plain film X-ray testing there has been substantial damage to the bone affected. Bone changes visible on plain film X-ray are, therefore, considered a later-stage finding. Earlier signs of avascular necrosis can be detected with an MRI scan image or suggested by a nuclear bone scan image.

What is the treatment for aseptic necrosis?

The treatment of aseptic necrosis is critically dependent on the stage of the condition. Early aseptic necrosis (before X-ray image changes are evident) can be treated with a surgical operation called a core decompression. This procedure involves removing a core of bone from the involved area and sometimes grafting new bone into the area. This allows new blood supply to form, preserving the bone. Weight-bearing or impact of the involved joint is restricted.

Later stages of aseptic necrosis (when X-ray image changes are apparent) typically lead to seriously damaged bone and joints, requiring joint replacement surgery. For related information, please read the following articles: Total Hip Replacement and Total Knee Replacement.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 4/15/2014

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Source: MedicineNet.com
http://www.medicinenet.com/aseptic_necrosis/article.htm

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