At-Home Treatments for Avascular Necrosis
What is avascular necrosis?
Avascular necrosis is a medical condition that occurs when the blood supply to a bone is reduced or interrupted. Without an adequate supply of blood, the tissue in the bone dies. As a result, tiny breaks in the bone occur, which can lead to the eventual collapse of the bone. If avascular necrosis develops in a bone near a joint, the joint surface may also collapse. Although this condition can occur in any bone, it most often affects the ends of long bones, such as the end of the femur (where it connects to the hip). Avascular necrosis is also referred to as ischemic bone necrosis, aseptic necrosis and osteonecrosis.
At-home treatment options
In addition to conventional medical treatments for avascular necrosis, at-home treatments can help reduce symptoms and prevent further bone damage.
It is essential to rest the affected bone or joint. High-impact sports or activities that put stress on the joint, such as running, football, soccer, basketball, volleyball, etc., should be avoided. Low-impact activities, such as swimming or yoga, may be possible. If necessary, the use of crutches, a walker or a wheelchair can limit the amount of weight placed on the joint.
When joint pain is present, applying ice or heat may help reduce pain. Heat stimulates blood flow, increases range of motion, and reduces stiffness in painful joints. Ice numbs painful joints and reduces inflammation.
A physical therapist can provide at-home exercises to maintain or improve the range of motion in an affected joint. These exercises can be helpful on their own or in combination with other conventional medical treatments.
Risk factor reduction
Several lifestyle factors are associated with avascular necrosis. Limiting alcohol consumption, lowering high cholesterol levels and quitting the habit of smoking may prevent the condition from worsening or from developing in other parts of the body.
In combination with conventional medical treatments for avascular necrosis, at-home treatments can help control pain and prevent the condition from worsening.