Osteonecrosis of the Foot and Ankle

What is Osteonecrosis?

Osteonecrosis is a generic term in orthopedics. Osteonecrosis means loss of vascularity to a bone and it has a specific role in the foot and ankle. Unfortunately, what happens in this situation is when a bone loses its blood supply, it can be transient and in some scenarios, the blood supply will return.

Oftentimes, the blood supply will not come back. The bone can then either die off without good blood supply and further lead to complications such as arthritis or joint-related problems in the particular area. In extreme cases, the bones can even collapse and disintegrate until there is no bone present – leaving a large defect in the body.

Osteonecrosis Symptoms and Warning Signs

Osteonecrosis is most often caused by serious trauma which affects the bone’s blood supply, prolonged use of corticosteroid medications and excess alcohol use. The following examples will list the symptoms that are commonly associated with the later stages of Osteonecrosis.

  • Joint pain during movement
  • Joint pain while lying down
  • Limited range of motion
  • Lack of support resulting in a collapse
  • Limping

Osteonecrosis Treatment

The treatment of Osteonecrosis first begins with identifying the cause. The condition commonly occurs because of broken bones, fractures, and medications from chronic steroid use. If we can identify one of the causes, we can then treat the underlying issue as a whole. By reversing the problem, we can try to get the bone to heal on its own. If it doesn’t, then we can treat the secondary problem present, which is in regards to bone blood supply regeneration. To treat cases of arthritis or bone collapse, surgical procedures are needed to treat the area through fusions or joint replacements. In some scenarios, replacing the entire bone with metal implants is another safe alternative method for severe cases.

Osteonecrosis Relief in Chicagoland

A medical diagnosis is needed to accurately determine if a patient is suffering from Osteonecrosis. If you’ve been suffering from unexplainable pain and your symptoms are similar to those listed above, please contact Dr. Vora as soon as possible. Dr. Vora is a board-certified orthopedic surgeon who specializes in the lower extremities of the leg and is well-versed in many surgical treatment technics. To learn more about Dr. Vora and the cutting-edge orthopedic services he provides, feel free to schedule an appointment at a Chicagoland office location near you.