Avascular necrosis is a condition in which a portion of bone dies due to loss of blood supply. When blood flow to the bone is disrupted, the bone begins to fracture and eventually can collapse. Blood flow to bones can be disrupted due to trauma, joint dislocation or pressure in the bone due to medical conditions such as sickle cell anemia, lupus or Gaucher’s disease.
Certain medications, such as steroids, and excessive drinking can cause fat to build in the blood preventing the blood from reaching the bones. Avascular necrosis most commonly affects the hip, but also can affect the knee, shoulder, hand and foot.
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