CausesBy Mayo Clinic Staff
Avascular necrosis occurs when blood flow to a bone is interrupted or reduced. Reduced blood supply can be caused by:
- Joint or bone trauma. An injury, such as a dislocated joint, might damage nearby blood vessels. Cancer treatments involving radiation also can weaken bone and harm blood vessels.
- Fatty deposits in blood vessels. The fat (lipids) can block small blood vessels, reducing the blood flow that feeds bones.
- Certain diseases. Medical conditions, such as sickle cell anemia and Gaucher's disease, also can cause diminished blood flow to bone.
For about 25 percent of people with avascular necrosis, the cause of interrupted blood flow is unknown.
March 21, 2015
- Ferri FF. Ferri's Clinical Advisor 2015: 5 Books in 1. Philadelphia, Pa.: Mosby Elsevier; 2015. https://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed Jan. 23, 2015.
- Jones LC, et al. Osteonecrosis (avascular necrosis of bone). http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Jan. 19, 2015.
- Firestein GS, et al. Kelley's Textbook of Rheumatology. 9th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2013. http://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed Jan. 23, 2015.
- AskMayoExpert. Who gets avascular necrosis of the hip? Rochester, Minn.: Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research; 2015.
- Questions and answers about osteonecrosis (avascular necrosis). National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases. http://www.niams.nih.gov/Health_Info/Osteonecrosis/default.asp. Accessed Jan. 23, 2015.
- Chang-Miller A (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Phoenix/Scottsdale, Ariz. Jan. 29, 2015.
- Issa K, et al. Osteonecrosis of the femoral head: The total hip replacement solution. Bone & Joint Journal. 2013;95-B:46.