Hip Osteonecrosis -Stages- Info

Osteonecrosis of the Hip

Osteonecrosis of the hip is a painful condition that occurs when the blood supply to the head of the femur (thighbone) is disrupted. Because bone cells need a steady supply of blood to stay healthy, osteonecrosis can ultimately lead to destruction of the hip joint and severe arthritis.

Osteonecrosis is also called avascular necrosis (AVN) or aseptic necrosis. Although it can occur in any bone, osteonecrosis most often affects the hip. More than 20,000 people each year enter hospitals for treatment of osteonecrosis of the hip. In many cases, both hips are affected by the disease. 

Doctor Examination

After discussing your symptoms and medical history, your doctor will examine your hip to discover which specific motions cause your pain.

Patients with osteonecrosis often have severe pain in the hip joint but relatively good range of motion. This is because only the femoral head is involved in the earlier stages of the disease. Later, as the surface of the femoral head collapses, the entire joint becomes arthritic. Loss of motion and stiffness can then develop.

Osteonecrosis is typically seen as a wedge-shaped area with a dense whitish sclerotic border in the superior lateral portion of the femoral head. On lateral view, a lucent line called a “crescent sign” can often be seen just below the surface of the femoral head. 

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans.Early changes in the bone that may not show up on an x-ray can be detected with an MRI scan. These scans are used to evaluate how much of the bone is affected by the disease. An MRI may also show early osteonecrosis that has yet to cause symptoms (for example — osteonecrosis that may be developing in the opposite hip joint). 

Stages of Avascular Necrosis-Osteonecrosis Hip

photo credit AAOS American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons

Video Link of Stages of Avascular Necrosis-Osteonecrosis Hip

Dr Nabil Ebraheim Shows Info on Hip Avascular Necrosis

You can have Avascular Necrosis in one hip or both , if in both hips it’s called bilateral which means both sides.

And if you have Avascular Necrosis- osteonecrosis in more that 3 different joints

Multifocal osteonecrosis is defined as disease involving three or more anatomic sites.

Example

Hips

Knees

Shoulder

That is called multi focal Avascular Necrosis- Osteonecrosis

Read more

Multifocal osteonecrosis Article in The Journal of Rheumatology 25(10):1968-74 · November 1998

Multifocal ON, which ON involves three or more distinct anatomical sites [5], is rare, being seen in only approximately 3% of all ON patients [5]. Corticosteroid use is a known risk factor for multifocal ON [5,6], as are certain comorbidities, including systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), renal failure, leukemia, and lymphoma [5,7,8]. However, almost all studies of multifocal ON are case reports and case series, so the inci- dence and clinical characteristics of the condition remain poorly defined [5,[8][9][10][11][12][13]. …

Non-operative Treatment

There is no known pharmaceutical cure for osteonecrosis. Several non-operative treatments have been studied including hyperbaric oxygen therapy, shock wave therapy, electrical stimulation, pharmaceuticals (anticoagulants, bisphosphonates, vasodilators, lipid lowering agents), physiotherapy and muscle strengthening exercises, and combinations thereof. There are conflicting results for some of these treatments, therefore, rigorous, randomized controlled trials with large numbers of patients are still needed to determine the effectiveness of these treatments. Non-operative treatment may be part of a wait-and-see approach based on the size of the area of dead bone. Non-operative treatments cannot be labeled as conservative, since many of them do not slow the progression of the disease or lead to avoidance of a total hip arthroplasty. Most are simply pain-relieving at best.

Reduced weight bearing does not alter the course of the disease and is not a treatment. It may be used to simply permit the patient to better cope with pain until appropriate treatment is instituted. 

Surgical Treatment

Core decompression – This surgical procedure removes or drills a tunnel into the area of the affected bone, which reduces pressure within the bone. Core decompression works best in people who are in the earliest stages of osteonecrosis, before the collapse of the dead bone. This procedure sometimes can reduce pain and slow the progression of bone and joint destruction in these patients.

Osteotomy – This surgical procedure reshapes the bone to reduce stress on the affected area. There is a lengthy recovery period, and the patient’s activities are very limited for 3 to 12 months after an osteotomy. This procedure is most effective for patients with advanced osteonecrosis and those with a small area of affected bone.

Bone graft – Bone grafts can be used as part of the surgical treatment for osteonecrosis. Bone grafts can use bone from the same patient or donor bone. Bone graft or synthetic bone graft can be inserted into the hole created by the core decompression procedure. A specialized procedure, called vascularized bone grafting, involves moving a piece of bone from another site (often the fibula, one of the bones of the calf, or the iliac crest, a portion of the pelvic bone) with a vascular attachment. This allows for support of the diseased area as well as a new source of blood supply. This is a complex procedure and is performed by surgeons that are specially trained. Another type of bone grafting, involves scraping out all of the dead bone and replacing it with healthier bone graft, often from other portions of the patient’s skeleton. 

A unique type of bone graft involves the use of a patient’s own cells that are capable of making new bone. Often these cells are a type of stem cell from the bone marrow or other bodily tissues. There has been increasing interest in the potential of stem cell therapy. This is also being studied for the treatment of osteonecrosis. Mesenchymal stem cells, which are a type of ‘adult’ stem cell, can grow and develop into many different cell types in the body. Physicians take the patient’s own mesenchymal stem cells (autologous transplant) and place them into the affected bone to stimulate bone repair and regeneration.

Arthroplasty/total joint replacement – Total joint replacement is the treatment of choice in late-stage osteonecrosis when the joint is destroyed. In this surgery, the diseased joint is replaced with artificial parts. It may be recommended for people who are not good candidates for other treatments, such as patients who do not do well with repeated attempts to preserve the joint. Various types of replacements are available, and people should discuss specific needs with their doctor.

For most people with osteonecrosis, treatment is an ongoing process. Doctors may first recommend the least complex and invasive procedure, such as protecting the joint by limiting high impact activities, and watch the effect on the patient’s condition.

Other treatments then may be used to prevent further bone destruction and reduce pain such as core decompression with bone graft/stem cell therapy. Eventually patients may need joint replacement if the disease has progressed to collapse of the bone. It is important that patients carefully follow instructions about activity limitations and work closely with their doctor to ensure that appropriate treatments are used.

Investigational Therapies

Scientists, researchers, and physicians continue to pursue a better understanding of how this disease occurs as well as compare the effectiveness of current and newly developed therapies. Often, this requires a clinical trial to answer questions and gain additional knowledge.

Information on current clinical trials is posted on the Internet at www.clinicaltrials.gov. All studies receiving U.S. government funding, and some supported by private industry, are posted on this government web site. 

For information about clinical trials being conducted at the NIH Clinical Center in Bethesda, MD, contact the NIH Patient Recruitment Office:

Toll-free: (800) 411-1222
TTY: (866) 411-1010
Email: prpl@cc.nih.gov

Nontraumatic Osteonecrosis of the Femoral Head: Where Do We Stand Today? A Ten-Year Update.

By Dr. Michal Mont MD

There is hope

Treatment

The goal is to prevent further bone loss.

Medications and therapy

In the early stages of avascular necrosis, symptoms might be eased with medication and therapy. Your doctor might recommend:

  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.Medications, such as ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB, others) or naproxen sodium (Aleve) might help relieve the pain associated with avascular necrosis.
  • Osteoporosis drugs. Medications, such as alendronate (Fosamax, Binosto), might slow the progression of avascular necrosis, but the evidence is mixed.
  • Cholesterol-lowering drugs. Reducing the amount of cholesterol and fat in your blood might help prevent the vessel blockages that can cause avascular necrosis.
  • Blood thinners. If you have a clotting disorder, blood thinners, such as warfarin (Coumadin, Jantoven), might be recommended to prevent clots in the vessels feeding your bones.
  • Rest. Reducing the weight and stress on your affected bone can slow the damage. You might need to restrict your physical activity or use crutches to keep weight off your joint for several months.
  • Exercises. A physical therapist can teach you exercises to help maintain or improve the range of motion in your joint.
  • Electrical stimulation. Electrical currents might encourage your body to grow new bone to replace the damaged bone. Electrical stimulation can be used during surgery and applied directly to the damaged area. Or it can be administered through electrodes attached to your skin.

Surgical and other procedures

Because most people don’t develop symptoms until avascular necrosis is fairly advanced, your doctor might recommend surgery. The options include:

  • Core decompression. The surgeon removes part of the inner layer of your bone. Besides reducing your pain, the extra space within your bone stimulates the production of healthy bone tissue and new blood vessels.
  • Bone transplant (graft). This procedure can help strengthen the area of bone affected by avascular necrosis. The graft is a section of healthy bone taken from another part of your body.
  • Bone reshaping (osteotomy). A wedge of bone is removed above or below a weight-bearing joint, to help shift your weight off the damaged bone. Bone reshaping might enable you to postpone joint replacement.
  • Joint replacement. If your diseased bone has collapsed or other treatments aren’t helping, you might need surgery to replace the damaged parts of your joint with plastic or metal parts.
  • Regenerative medicine treatment. Bone marrow aspirate and concentration is a newer procedure that might be appropriate for early stage avascular necrosis of the hip. Stem cells are harvested from your bone marrow. During surgery, a core of dead hipbone is removed and stem cells inserted in its place, potentially allowing for growth of new bone. More study is needed.

Talk to your doctor about treatment options and the stage of your Avascular Necrosis of the Hip.

If this helped you please like comment or share this.

Thank You

Wishing you a pain free day

Debbie

Material Used In Hip Replacements

The Many Different Materials Used in Hip Replacement Devices.

If you need a hip replacement it’s best to educate yourself .

Hip replacement devices break into a few big categories:

Metal on Metal (MOM) – These are what they sound like. Both the socket and the ball are made of stainless steel, titanium, chromium, cobalt or some combination of these. One sub-type of a MOM hip is a minimally invasive model which usually is smaller in size, so it can be installed with a smaller incision.

Polyethylene and Metal on Polyethylene (MOP) – Polyethylene is basically plastic, so these hips usually have metal structural pieces and a plastic liner where the ball and socket meet. They can also have a metal ball meeting a plastic socket liner. A sub-type of a polyethylene hip is made with a newer plastic called cross linked polyethylene, which is more durable.

Ceramic on Metal (COM), Ceramic on Ceramic (COC), Ceramic on Polyethylene (COP) – Ceramic hips are made of specialized and more durable versions of the same type of material that plates and bowls are made from. There are ceramic on metal, ceramic on ceramic, and ceramic on polyethylene versions. While these are durable, they can be vulnerable to fracture and breaking under big stresses.

Wear Particles

If for some reason I would need a hip replacement, my single biggest concern would be wear particles. This phenomenon first came to light about 5 – 7 years ago when surgeons began to replace the first worn out or failed metal on metal (MOM) hips. What they found in some patients was scary. Basically, the entire area directly around the hip replacement device had turned into a mass of black goo.

Then studies were published showing that those microscopic metal shavings were leaching into the blood stream and causing elevated metal ion levels. Additional studies began to point out that some people’s tissue was so sensitive to this junk that they formed pseudotumors, which are basically big solid masses of irritated tissues, some of which could press on important nerves. Finally, genetic studies showed that not only was this tissue visibly unhappy, the cells were getting damaged at a genetic level from the wear particles.

When all of this first came to light, it looked like only MOM hips were involved. However, as the research below shows, the issue of wear particles extends to every type of hip made.

ARMD – Adverse Reactions to Metal Debris

Before we begin, it’s worth noting that there is now a name for pissed off tissue caused by wear particles. In a 90s movie, a nuclear war head falls into the wrong hands and the main character is informed that this is called a “Broken Arrow”. He responds to the effect of, “I’m not sure what’s more disturbing, the fact that we just lost a nuclear warhead or that you actually have a name for this”. I feel the same about the fact that the orthopedic joint replacement community now has a name for wear particles that cause problems in patients.

In addition to highlighting research on wear particles, I’ll also look at the durability of each type. So let’s take a look at how to navigate this minefield.

The Research on the Various Types of Hip Replacement Materials – Focused on Wear Particles and Device Failure

MOM or “Metal on Metal”

The “bad boy” of hip replacement types is clearly MOM hips. The funniest thing is that despite all of the absolutely horrific things published about these devices, you can still find Internet ads for many surgeons who will be happy to implant them. They do this by claiming that these are “minimally invasive” hips. While there’s a tiny kernel of truth in that hogwash (the incisions needed to implant them are smaller), there is nothing minimally invasive about amputating a joint and inserting a prosthesis, no matter how you skin that cat. In addition, the smaller the device, the bigger the wear particle issue.

MOM hips produce metal wear particles locally that are then taken up in the bloodstream. In general, smaller MOM hip devices (usually those used for small framed women) have a higher likelihood of producing metal wear particles. This study showed more metal ions in the blood with MOM devices compared to conventional hip replacement prostheses. This randomized trial again demonstrated more metal ions in the blood of women with MOM hips when compared to conventional hip replacement, but also noted that pseudotumors occurred both around these MOM devices and the more conventional MOP devices as well. This recent study showed that metal debris was present in both large and small MOM hip replacement devices.

Photo from Breaking Muscle It’s all in the hips

The latest 2015 consensus guidelines are now not to perform a MOM hip replacement in small women or anybody with a known metal allergy. The latest study on MOM hips and pseudotumors concludes, “Adverse reactions to metal debris in MOM hips may not be as benign as previous reports have suggested.” Not good.

Polyethylene and Metal on Polyethylene (MOP)

When I initially began this literature search, I thought that MOP hips may be better in the wear particle department. After all, you don’t have metal rubbing on metal, but usually metal on plastic. However, I was wrong.

To see how bad things can get with MOP wear particles, I didn’t have to look far. This recent study from 2014 showed an awful side effect of both polyethylene and metal wear particles, a pseudotumor that invaded a woman’s vaginal tissues. This 2015 study was very concerning in that it compared MOP hips to MOM hips with regard to metal levels and chromosome damage in cells. It couldn’t conclude that one was better than the other. Based on this 2014 study, MOP hips wear less, but their wear particles produce slightly more tissue reaction than MOM hips. This is all consistent with a recent study I blogged on, showing that conventional polyethylene wear particles reduced stem cell activity in bone marrow and muscle.

If there is one bright spot in this category, it’s likely the newer highly cross linked polyethylene (HCLP). Based on this recent study, HCLP hips produced fewer wear particles than regular polyethylene. In another study of shoulder replacement devices, the lower debris for these devices was confirmed. In addition, based on this 2014 study HCLP devices seem to withstand unexpected wear and part failure better.

Ceramic on Metal (COM), Ceramic on Ceramic (COC), Ceramic on Polyethylene (COP)

Maybe ceramic is the way to go? After all, what could go wrong with installing a hip replacement device made of the same substance as dinner plates?

This 2015 randomized trial showed that COM hips still regrettably produced metal wear particles that ended up in the blood stream. Some good news for COM hips could be found in this 2015 study. It concluded that while there was swelling around these devices, when compared to minimally invasive MOM hips, there were no pseudotumors seen in COM hips. However, based on this analysis of many studies, there doesn’t seem to be any advantage of COC compared to COP. How does COM and COC compare? Ceramic on metal doesn’t seem to have the same durability as ceramic on ceramic based on this study.

Is Your Surgeon Being Paid to Promote a Certain Type of Hip?

One of the real challenges in navigating this landscape is that regrettably, joint replacement devices have been one of the worst areas of payola in medicine. As reimbursements have declined for the surgical procedures of installing and replacing devices, many surgeons have figured out that they can keep their cash flow stable by taking money from the device manufacturers. This has been the subject of many Department of Justice lawsuits through the years.

The big issue for patients is how to know if their surgeon is recommending a hip device because they really feel that it’s the best, or because they’re getting paid by the company making the device. This Propublica web-site will allow you to research your surgeon’s payment history.

Correct Sizing is Key!

It’s very clear from reviewing the medical research on this topic that a poorly sized hip device is a huge problem for many reasons. First, it will reduce the longevity of the device. Perhaps more importantly, it virtually guarantees more harmful wear particles. And since we’re talking about replacing your hip, a good fit is common sense.

Given the modular nature of these hip devices and the wide array of options, a poor fit should never happen. However, in my experience, hardware fitting issues usually happen when the operating room and/or hospital don’t have the correct size in stock on the day of the surgery. So agree before hand on the size of the components and make sure the staff has double-checked to make sure the hospital has that size in stock.

The upshot? All hip replacement devices produce wear particles. But which is best? It’s clear that when metal on metal implants go bad, things can go very bad with a local tissue reaction that can cause pseudotumors and high metal ions levels in the blood. If I had to get my hip replaced, I would cross this type of implant off my list. Ceramics still produce wear particles and have the added problem of fracturing in an active individual. Polyethylene wear particles in a MOP hip can be just as bad as those from a MOM hip. Given that highly cross linked polythylene has the least wear particles, this is likely the winner. However, realize that not as much is known about tissue reaction to cross linked polyethylene, so that recommendation may change with time. In addition, there are newer types of ceramics that once mated with HCLP could produce less debris.

More information Hip Replacement Material- Regenexx

Hip Replacement

FDA on Hip Replacement Parts