Osteonecrosis: A Comprehensive Review

Author(s): Ricardo Caldas

Osteonecrosis, also known as avascular necrosis, is a debilitating bone disorder characterized by the ischemic death of bone tissue. This condition primarily affects weight-bearing joints, including the hip and knee, and poses a significant clinical challenge due to its diverse etiology and often insidious onset. This abstract provides a concise overview of osteonecrosis, focusing on its pathogenesis, diagnostic modalities, and current treatment strategies. The pathogenesis of osteonecrosis is multifactorial and can be attributed to a variety of causes, including trauma, corticosteroid use, alcohol abuse, and underlying medical conditions. Avascularity disrupts the bone's nutrient supply, triggering a cascade of events leading to bone cell death and structural collapse. Early diagnosis is pivotal to preventing joint damage and preserving function. Imaging techniques, such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), play a crucial role in identifying osteonecrotic lesions even before radiographic changes occur. Blood tests can help rule out underlying conditions and assess overall health. Treatment options for osteonecrosis range from conservative measures, including pain management and physical therapy, to surgical interventions like core decompression and joint-preserving procedures. In advanced cases, joint replacement surgery may be necessary to restore mobility and alleviate pain. This abstract underscores the importance of early detection and tailored treatment strategies in managing osteonecrosis, improving patient outcomes, and fostering ongoing research for innovative therapeutic approaches.