What is Avascular Necrosis of the Hip?

Avascular necrosis, also referred to osteonecrosis, of the hip is a bone condition that occurs when bone tissue dies due to a loss of blood supply. The disorder develops when the blood supply to the bone is compromised in some way and prevents blood from reaching the bone tissue. If blood is cut off for too long, the bone tissue begins to die. As a result, the joint can collapse.


More than 20,000 people are affected by this painful condition each year. Although it can take months or years to develop, avascular necrosis can be caused by a number of things.

Injury/Trauma – This is the most common cause of avascular necrosis. An injury can damage blood vessels in that area.

Cancer Treatments – Radiation treatment can cause bones to become weak and cause damage to blood vessels.

Fatty Deposits – Fat in blood vessels can cause blockage and reduce blood flow to the bones.

Medical Conditions – Certain diseases can also cause less blow to flow to bones.


The most common symptom of avascular necrosis of the hip is sudden, severe pain in the groin or thigh. The pain may radiate down to your knee or foot and be accompanied by swelling, bruising, and redness.

Other symptoms may include:

  • Severe pain in the hip
  • Tenderness on pressure over your hip
  • Difficulty walking
  • Limping


The diagnosis of avascular necrosis comes from a combination of medical and imaging tests. In addition to a full medical history and physician exam, your physician may order x-rays, CT or CAT scan, Biopsy or MRI to make the diagnosis. In order to diagnose this condition, your doctor will ask about what pain you may have and any recent injuries that may have occurred. Your physician may also order a blood test to reveal if you have elevated calcium levels, or hyperparathyroidism.


There aren’t a lot of options for treatment of avascular necrosis, however your treatment will depend on the severity of the condition. Medications, exercise, and rest can slow the progression of the condition, however, surgery is the best course of treatment. Your surgery may include bone reshaping, bone grafting or core decompression.

Plano Orthopedic and Sports Medicine Center in Plano, Texas can hip you diagnose and treat your hip pain. We have a team of qualified surgeons that have the experience and skills necessary to treat various parts of the body. Get your hip pain resolved today with POSMC.

Call POSMC today!

To schedule an appointment with one our specialists, contact our scheduling department at 972-250-5700 or request an appointment online.

POSMC is a full-service medical facility specializing in the evaluation and treatment of orthopedic injuries. The practice is led by a group of 12 board-certified and fellowship-trained orthopedic surgeons and a physical medicine and rehabilitation physician. Contact us today!

Dr. Adam Wright

Hip and Knee
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Dr. Kenneth S. Dauber

Physical Medicine, Spine and Hip
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Dr. John W. Barrington

Hip, Shoulder and Knee Replacement
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