Avascular necrosis (AVN) is a condition that occurs when the blood supply to a bone is disrupted, resulting in bone cell death. The most common site for AVN is in the hip joint, but it can also affect other joints, such as the knee, shoulder, and ankle.
Various factors, including trauma, excessive alcohol consumption, steroid use, and certain medical conditions, such as sickle cell disease, can cause the illness. Early diagnosis of AVN is essential to prevent further bone damage and to preserve joint function.
1. Increasing Pain in Stiff Joints
One of the most common symptoms of AVN is pain in the affected joint. This pain may start as mild and intermittent but can gradually worsen. As the condition progresses, the pain may become more severe and constant, making it difficult to perform everyday tasks such as walking or standing for extended periods.
In addition to pain, stiffness in the affected joint may also be present. The stiffness can make it difficult to move the joint and may also contribute to a limited range of motion. As a result, people can become fixed in what they can do, prompting them to stay in one place only. Therefore, they stay immobile unless a cure or solution is tried.
2. Limited Range of Motion
AVN can decrease the affected joint's range of motion as it progresses. It may be due to the pain and stiffness associated with the condition or may result from bone damage. The pain may be mild initially but can become severe as the condition worsens.
The stiffness may make it difficult to move the joint and hinder people from doing various activities. If you are experiencing a limited range of motion in a joint, it is essential to seek medical attention. A bone and joint specialist can examine and determine the cause.
As AVN progresses, it can cause changes in the way you walk. You may begin to limp or favor one leg over the other to avoid putting weight on the affected joint. Limping can be a sign of a severe underlying condition and should be evaluated by a medical professional. A bone and joint specialist can assess your gait and determine if AVN is the cause of your limp.
4. Intermittent Pain
In some cases, AVN may cause intermittent pain in the affected joint. The pain may occur during certain activities, such as walking or exercising, and may subside with rest. Intermittent pain can be a sign of early-stage AVN and should not be ignored. If you are experiencing pain in a joint that comes and goes, speaking with a bone and joint specialist is essential.
5. Constant Hip Joint Pain
AVN most commonly affects the hip joint and can cause constant pain in the affected area. The pain may be felt in the groin, thigh, or buttocks and may be severe enough to limit mobility. If you are experiencing constant hip joint pain, it is essential to seek medical attention. A bone and joint specialist can perform a physical exam and imaging tests to determine if AVN is the underlying cause of your pain.
Avascular necrosis is a severe condition that requires prompt medical attention. If you are experiencing any of the symptoms listed above, you must speak with a bone and joint specialist as soon as possible. With early diagnosis and treatment, it is possible to preserve joint function and prevent further bone damage.
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