AVN [Avascular Necrosis] of the Hip Joint by – Dr.Murtaza AdeebDr.Murtaza Adeeb
Hip Pain in a young adult is not very common. It may initially present as low back pain or even pain in the knee. Pain originating in the hip joint will eventually localize in the groin area and the hip will become quite stiff. It can be quite debilitating.
One of the common causes of hip pain in a young adult is AVN. This condition is basically destruction of the hip joint as a result of decreased blood circulation to the head of the thigh bone or femur which constitutes the “ball” of the ball and socket hip joint.
Decreased blood supply to the femoral head can occur due to many reasons. The commonest of these in India is alcohol consumption and as a complication of steroids consumption.
AVN is a progressive condition. The diagnosis is made on the basis of history, clinical examination and investigations like X-rays and MRI scans.
It is graded in 4 categories.
If the diagnosis is made in the early stages i.e 1 and 2, the patient may benefit from an operation called “core decompression of the femoral head” which involves drilling holes into the bone to stimulate restoration of blood supply. Medication can also be given to strengthen the bone.
As the disease progresses into grade 3 and 4, the patient will require a “total hip replacement”.
If you want to avoid giving me business, stop boozing and be wary of steroids. Steroids are life saving drugs and should be used when indicated, however, keep this particular complication in mind and get checked out if you have any symptoms.