Osteonecrosis

National Organization for Rare Disorders, Inc.

Important
It is possible that the main title of the report Osteonecrosis is not the name you expected. Please check the synonyms listing to find the alternate name(s) and disorder subdivision(s) covered by this report.

Synonyms

  • Avascular Necrosis of Bone
  • Aseptic Necrosis
  • Ischemic Necrosis of Bone

Disorder Subdivisions

  • None

General Discussion

Osteonecrosis, also known as avascular necrosis, is a disease resulting from the temporary or permanent loss of the blood supply to the bones. Without blood, the bone tissue dies and causes the bone to collapse. If the process involves the bones near a joint, it often leads to collapse of the joint surface. This disease also is known, aseptic necrosis, and ischemic bone necrosis.

Although it can happen in any bone, osteonecrosis most commonly affects the ends (epiphysis) of long bones such as the femur, the bone extending from the knee joint to the hip joint. Other common sites include the upper arm bone, knees, shoulders, and ankles. The disease may affect just one bone, more than one bone at the same time, or more than one bone at different times. Orthopaedic doctors most often diagnose the disease.

The amount of disability that results from osteonecrosis depends on what part of the bone is affected, how large an area is involved, and how effectively the bone rebuilds itself. The process of bone rebuilding takes place after an injury as well as during normal growth. Normally, bone continuously breaks down and rebuilds--old bone is reabsorbed and replaced with new bone. The process keeps the skeleton strong and helps it to maintain a balance of minerals. In the course of osteonecrosis, however, the healing process is usually ineffective and the bone tissues break down faster than the body can repair them. If left untreated, the disease progresses, the bone collapses, and the joint surface breaks down, leading to pain and arthritis.

Resources

Arthritis Foundation
P.O. Box 7669
Atlanta, GA 30357-0669
USA
Tel: (404)965-7627
Tel: (800)283-7800
Email: arthritisfoundation@arthritis.org
Internet: http://www.arthritis.org

NIH/National Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases Information Clearinghouse
1 AMS Circle
Bethesda, MD 20892-3675
USA
Tel: (301)495-4484
Fax: (301)718-6366
Tel: (877)226-4267
TDD: (301)565-2966
Email: NIAMSinfo@mail.nih.gov
Internet: http://www.niams.nih.gov/Health_Info

NIH/Osteoporosis and Related Bone Diseases - National Resource Center
2 AMS Circle
Bethesda, MD 20892-3676
USA
Tel: (202)223-0344
Fax: (202)293-2356
Tel: (800)624-2663
TDD: (202)466-4315
Email: niamsboneinfo@mail.nih.gov
Internet: http://www.niams.nih.gov/Health_Info/Bone/

American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons
6300 North River Road
Rosemont, IL 60018-4262
Tel: (847)823-7186
Fax: (847)823-8125
Email: webhelp@aaos.org
Internet: http://www.aaos.org/

National Osteonecrosis Foundation
c/o NONF Suite 201
Good Samaritan Professional Bldg.
5601 Loch Raven Blvd.
Baltimore, MD 21239
USA
Tel: (410)532-5985
Fax: (410)532-5908
Internet: http://www.nonf.org

MUMS National Parent-to-Parent Network
150 Custer Court
Green Bay, WI 54301-1243
USA
Tel: (920)336-5333
Fax: (920)339-0995
Tel: (877)336-5333
Email: mums@netnet.net
Internet: http://www.netnet.net/mums/

Genetic and Rare Diseases (GARD) Information Center
PO Box 8126
Gaithersburg, MD 20898-8126
Tel: (301)251-4925
Fax: (301)251-4911
Tel: (888)205-2311
TDD: (888)205-3223
Email: ordr@od.nih.gov
Internet: http://rarediseases.info.nih.gov/Default.aspx

For a Complete Report

For a Complete Report

This is an abstract of a report from the National Organization for Rare Disorders, Inc. ® (NORD). A copy of the complete report can be obtained for a small fee by visiting the NORD website. The complete report contains additional information including symptoms, causes, affected population, related disorders, standard and investigational treatments (if available), and references from medical literature. For a full-text version of this topic, see http://www.rarediseases.org/search/rdblist.html

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