Osteonecrosis of the Foot and Ankle

Many of the bones of the foot and ankle are particularly susceptible to avascular necrosis (AVN), a process in which the bone undergoes a progressive death because of inadequate blood supply. This can occur after trauma and fracture, secondary to systemic disease such as rheumatoid arthritis or steroid use, or even after relatively mild trauma or no specific precipitating incident.

Treatment, whether conservative or surgical, is focused on different methods to rest the involved bones and stimulate blood supply to regrow into the dead bone area in hopes that the bone will be able to mend itself. If the joints involved with the dead bone are severely arthritic, then additional procedures, such as welding the joints together (fusion) or replacement of the involved joint, may be necessary as well.