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Avascular Necrosis (cont.)

Avascular Necrosis Symptoms

Aseptic necrosis begins as a painless bone abnormality. It can remain painless. The involved bone often later develops pain, especially with use. Pain in the affected joint is usually the first symptom of avascular necrosis. When the lower extremity is affected, this can lead to a limp during walking. If the hip is affected, groin pain is common, especially when walking. As the ball of the hip collapses with progression of avascular necrosis of the hip, pain can persist in the hip after rotation or weight-bearing with walking.

Avascular Necrosis Diagnosis

The diagnosis of aseptic necrosis can often, but not always, be made with X-rays. By the time changes are apparent by plain film X-ray testing, there has been substantial damage to the bone affected. Therefore, bone changes visible on plain film X-ray are considered a later-stage finding. This makes it important that you share all your medical conditions and social habits with your health-care provider so she can make a decision if you are at risk for avascular necrosis even before plain X-rays reveal this disease. Earlier signs of avascular necrosis can be detected with an MRI scan (magnetic resonance imaging) or suggested by a nuclear bone scan.

It is important to note that when avascular necrosis is not caused by trauma, it is possible to have multiple joints involved, such as the hips as well as the shoulders or knees.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 12/9/2015

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