Avascular Necrosis (AVN of the Knee)

Avascular necrosis is the death of bone tissue that results from a reduction or interruption in the blood supply to the bone. Also referred to as osteonecrosis, the condition can be caused by narrowed blood vessels, pressure inside the bone, or injured or dislocated joints. It can lead to small bone breaks and the ultimate collapse of the bone. The knee is among the most common joints affected by avascular necrosis.

Symptoms

  • Pain
  • Stiffness
  • Reduced range of motion

Treatment

  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs
  • Biophosphonates (osteoporosis medication)
  • Rest
  • Exercises to maintain or improve range of motion
  • Electrical stimulation to encourage bone growth
  • Surgery (bone transplant, bone reshaping, joint replacement, core decompression)