What does the medical term AVN mean?

Asked By: Auras Villava | Last Updated: 8th March, 2020
Category: medical health bone and joint conditions
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Symptoms: Pain

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Similarly, it is asked, is avascular necrosis serious?

Avascular necrosis is a localized death of bone as a result of local injury (trauma), drug side effects, or disease. This is a serious condition because the dead areas of bone do not function normally, are weakened, and can collapse.

Also Know, what does AVN pain feel like? In its early stages, AVN typically causes no symptoms, but it gets painful as it progresses. At first, you may feel pain when you put pressure on the affected bone. Then pain may become more constant. If the bone and surrounding joint collapse, you may have severe pain that affects your ability to use your joint.

Herein, what is the best treatment for avascular necrosis?


  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. Medications, such as ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB, others) or naproxen sodium (Aleve) might help relieve the pain associated with avascular necrosis.
  • Osteoporosis drugs.
  • Cholesterol-lowering drugs.
  • Blood thinners.
  • Rest.
  • Exercises.
  • Electrical stimulation.

What are the four stages of avascular necrosis?

There are four stages that define how bad the disease has progressed. Stage 1 has a normal x-rays but MRI reveals the dead bone. Stage 2 can be seen on regular x-ray but there is no collapse of the femoral ball. Stage 3 shows signs of collapse (called a crescent sign) on x-ray.

39 Related Question Answers Found

Does hip replacement cure avascular necrosis?

In patients with large areas of dead bone, however, osteotomy may hinder bone healing. In those patients—as well as for those with osteoarthritis or pain unrelieved by other treatments—total hip replacement is the treatment of choice.

How long can you live with avascular necrosis?

Prognosis for Avascular Necrosis
More than half the people with this condition need surgery within 3 years of diagnosis. If a bone collapse in one of your joints, you're more likely to have it happen in another.

What drugs cause avascular necrosis?

Use of high-dose corticosteroids, such as prednisone, is a common cause of avascular necrosis. The reason is unknown, but one hypothesis is that corticosteroids can increase lipid levels in your blood, reducing blood flow. Excessive alcohol use.

Can avascular necrosis spread to other bones?

When blood supply is cut off, the bone tissue dies and the bone collapses. If avascular necrosis happens near a joint, the joint surface may collapse. This condition may happen in any bone. It may affect one bone, several bones at one time, or different bones at different times.

Can dead bone regenerate?

“We replace the dying piece of bone in the hip with thesegment from the fibula. Once the blood vessels are connected, the hip is givena new blood supply that allows it to regenerate.”

Can you die from necrosis?

While apoptosis often provides beneficial effects to the organism, necrosis is almost always detrimental and can be fatal. Thus, untreated necrosis results in a build-up of decomposing dead tissue and cell debris at or near the site of the cell death.

How fast does AVN progress?

AVN has four stages that can progress over a period of several months to more than a year.

What is the prognosis for avascular necrosis?

The prognosis of AVN depends on the disease stage at the time of diagnosis and the presence of any underlying conditions. More than 50% of patients with AVN require surgical treatment within 3 years of diagnosis. Half of patients with subchondral collapse of the femoral head develop AVN in the contralateral hip.

What happens if avascular necrosis is left untreated?

If left untreated, the disease progresses, and the bone may develop a crack whereby the bone can get compressed (collapse) together (similar to compressing a snowball). If this occurs at the end of the bone, it leads to an irregular joint surface, arthritic pain and loss of function of the affected areas.

What causes lack of blood flow to bones?

Osteonecrosis results from the loss of blood supply to the bone. Without blood, the bone tissue dies and the bone collapses. Loss of blood supply to the bone can be caused by medicines or medical procedures, medical conditions, alcohol use, injury, or increased bone pressure.

Can AVN cause back pain?

In the early stages of AVN and Kummel disease, you may not have any symptoms. But as the disease progresses, most people with Kummel disease experience back pain. Pain usually develops gradually and may be mild or severe. If the bone and surrounding joint surface collapses, pain may develop or increase dramatically.

Can AVN heal on its own?

A healthy person can sometimes recover from AVN, especially if it was caused by an accident. The body can repair damaged blood vessels and rebuild damaged bone. If alcohol or steroid use caused AVN, stopping their use might let the body heal itself. The first treatments can be pain medications.

What causes lack of blood flow to the hip?

Osteonecrosis of the hip is a painful condition that occurs when the blood supply to the head of the femur (thighbone) is disrupted. Osteonecrosis is also called avascular necrosis (AVN) or aseptic necrosis. Although it can occur in any bone, osteonecrosis most often affects the hip.

Is Osteonecrosis a cancer?

Osteonecrosis is a bone condition that can be a long term complication of childhood cancer therapy. It results from the temporary or permanent interruption in the flow of blood to the affected bone. Because of the loss of blood supply, the bone tissue dies and causes the bone to collapse.

How does alcohol cause avascular necrosis?

Excessive alcohol may cause fatty substances to build in the blood vessels and decrease the blood supply to the bones. That can lead to AVN.

What happens if your bone dies?

Osteonecrosis occurs when part of the bone does not get blood and dies. After a while, the bone can collapse. Osteonecrosis can be caused by disease or by severe trauma, such as a fracture or dislocation, that affects the blood supply to the bone. Osteonecrosis can also occur without trauma or disease.

Does Freiberg's disease go away?

The progression of Freiberg disease is variable with regard to time course and severity. Whereas some stage I, stage II, and stage III lesions may resolve spontaneously, patients who do not respond to conservative measures and patients with stage IV and stage V lesions may require surgery.