Treatment Of Osteonecrosis

associated hospitalsAt High Mountain Orthopedics, our team of experienced professionals provides treatment for a wide range of conditions that affect the spine, neck, knee, shoulder, foot, ankle, elbow, hand, wrist and hip. Also called avascular necrosis (AVN) or aseptic necrosis, osteonecrosis is a rare but serious condition that occurs when bone cells die due to decreased blood flow. Our orthopedic surgeons are well-versed in treatment of osteonecrosis and can help you find relief at our Wayne, NJ, surgical center or one of our associated hospitals, Valley Hospital or St. Joseph’s Hospital.
What Does Osteonecrosis Do To The Body?
Bones and bone marrow consist of living cells that need a steady supply of blood to stay healthy. When blood flow to bone cells decreases significantly, cells may die, eventually causing the bone to collapse. Osteonecrosis can lead to limited use of affected joints, pain and osteoarthritis and can make bones more prone to collapse and breakage. The hips, knees and shoulders are often the most common areas affected by osteonecrosis, but it can also occur in the shoulders, hands, feet and even the jaw.
Causes Of Osteonecrosis

Common causes of osteonecrosis include:

  • Serious trauma or injury that interrupts blood supply to the bone
  • High doses and prolonged use of corticosteroid medications
  • Excessive consumption of alcohol
  • Lupus

There are less common risk factors that are linked to osteonecrosis, including blood disorders like sickle cell anemia, decompression disease (often occurs during scuba diving), HIV/AIDS, diabetes, systemic lupus erythematosus, pancreatitis, radiation treatment, organ transplant and the use of bisphosphonates.

Symptoms Of Osteonecrosis

Many people don’t experience any symptoms in the early stages of osteonecrosis. As the condition progresses, you may only have pain in an affected joint when you bear weight on it. Pain typically develops gradually, and can range from mild to severe. You may eventually feel discomfort even when lying down. Some people develop osteonecrosis on both sides, for example, in both knees or hips. If you have persistent pain in any joint, it’s vital to see one of our orthopedic surgeons right away. Injuries such as broken bones and dislocated joints should also be treated immediately.

Diagnosis And Treatment

Diagnostic tests such as X-rays, MRI, CT scans and bone scans help our skilled surgeons detect osteonecrosis at every stage. MRI is particularly helpful in detecting very early osteonecrosis. Our doctors’ close working relationships with our associated hospitals ensure that we receive your results in a timely manner so we can get started on treating your condition and easing your pain.

In its early stages, osteonecrosis may be treated with medications, physical therapy and electrical stimulation. We offer a range of surgical and nonsurgical procedures to treat osteonecrosis. Because symptoms aren’t always noticeable until osteonecrosis is at an advanced stage, your doctor may recommend surgery such as:

Core Decompression: This procedure involves removing part of the inner layer of bone, which can reduce pain and stimulate the production of healthy bone tissue and new blood vessels.

Bone Graft: Your surgeon grafts healthy bone from another part of your body to strengthen the area affected by osteonecrosis.

Osteotomy: This surgery is a bone-shaping procedure in which a section of bone is removed above or below a weight-bearing joint. This helps shift your weight off the affected area.

Joint Replacement: If other treatments haven’t been effective or if bone has collapsed, the damaged parts of your joint may need to be replaced with biocompatible plastic or metal parts. An integral member of our practice, Dr. Sherwin Su specializes in total joint replacement and reconstruction.

After a thorough evaluation of your condition, your doctor will determine which type of treatment is best for you. Our surgeons and staff are committed to keeping up with the latest technology and techniques in orthopedic medicine.

Contact Us To Schedule An Appointment

Our experienced team and associated hospitals are committed to providing compassionate quality care to all our patients. At High Mountain Orthopedics, we’re happy to answer any questions you may have about osteonecrosis and are here to help with any orthopedic issue you may be facing. Contact us online or call 973-595-7779 24 hours a day, seven days a week. To schedule an appointment with our physical therapy department, call 973-321-1790. We serve residents of Northern New Jersey with locations in Wayne, Englewood and Paramus.

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