Aseptic necrosis of the hip is the death of bone tissue in the head of the femur (thigh bone) due to an inadequate blood supply.
There is a specific type of aseptic necrosis of the hip called
disease. It affects the growth plate at the upper end of the femur in children. It most commonly affects 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.
Symptoms may include: Groin pain, especially with weight-bearing actionsHip pain or limited hip motionButtock, thigh, and knee painLimping
You will be asked about your symptoms and medical history. A physical exam will be done. You may be referred to an orthopedic surgeon.
Images may need to be taken of your internal structures, especially your bones. This can be done with: X-rayCT scan
bone scanMRI scan
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 minimize disease progression.
The following medications may be prescribed: Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, such as ibuprofen, to relieve painBisphosphonates to prevent the loss of bone massIloprost to relax blood vesselsEnoxaparin to prevent blood clots
There are several surgical procedures 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.
To help reduce your chances of getting aseptic necrosis of the hip, take the following steps: Minimize the dose and duration of cortisone-like drugs.Avoid decompression disease when diving underwater.Reduce or stop smoking.Avoid excessive alcohol.
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Last reviewed March 2015 by Michael Woods, MD
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
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