Avascular necrosis (also called osteonecrosis) is a condition in which blood supply is restricted or cut off from a bone due to trauma. When blood supply is inadequate, the bone begins to die. This most often occurs in the hip, but also may occur in the knee and shoulder. In an effort to prevent further bone loss, patients with avascular necrosis may have a treatment plan that includes medication, rest, exercise and electrical stimulation. In more severe cases, surgical intervention is necessary.
When patients are referred to our team because of pain, stiffness and restricted motion, a diagnosis of avascular necrosis is made through imaging tests that can rule out other causes for the symptoms. We then work with the patient to create a care plan that may include a surgical option such as core decompression, bone transplant, bone reshaping or joint replacement. We spend time with the patient to learn about their lifestyle and plans for the future. That gives the surgeons the opportunity to be creative in creating a treatment plan that meets the patients where they are.
Every time doctors asked what I was doing for my osteonecrosis outside of Presbyterian/St. Luke's they were shocked to hear there was an option besides hip replacement surgery and besides just a normal decompression surgery. So it was pretty awesome to know how much of the front lines we were and that were very innovative medicine.
If the pelvic region has been destabilized, Dr. Lerman works with interventional radiologists to perform his own innovative technique that helps to stabilize the pelvis.