Updated: 11/30/2019

Avascular Necrosis of the Bone (Osteonecrosis)

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Snapshot
  • A 54-year-old woman presents with right groin and buttock pain. She denies any recent history of trauma or fall on the affected area. Medical history is significant for multiple sclerosis (MS) that required systemic steroids due to a MS exacerbation. On physical exam, there is decreased passive and active range of motion of the hip. Magnetic resonance imaging demonstrates serpiginous peripheral sclerosis with inner granulation tissue.
Introduction
  • Clinical definition
    • reduced vascular supply to the bone resulting in progressive and painful degeneration of the bone
      • also termed osteonecrosis
  • Epidemiology
    • incidence
      • typically occurs in the anterolateral femoral head
    • demographics
      • dependent on the cause of osteonecrosis
        • e.g., systemic lupus erythematosus associated with osteonecrosis is more likely to be seen in women
  • Etiology
    • traumatic
      • fractures
        • e.g., femoral head, femur, and scaphoid bone
      • dislocation
        • e.g., slipped capital femoral epiphysis
    • atraumatic
      • idiopathic (Legg-Calve-Perthes disease)
      • alcohol use
      • corticosteroids
        • think of disorders that use corticosteroids such as
          • systemic lupus erythematosus
          • acute lymphoblastic leukemia
          • transplantation
      • Gaucher disease
      • sickle cell disease
      • caisson disease ("the bends")
      • bisphosphonate therapy 
  • Pathogenesis
    • impaired blood supply leads to infarction of the associated bone and bone marrow
      • vascular insufficiency can result form
        • mechanical blood vessel injury
        • blood vessel compression
        • venous occlusion
        • thromboembolism
  • Prognosis
    • dependent on the extent of the lesion
Presentation
  • Symptoms
    • asymptomatic
      • seen in a small portion of patients
    • pain
      • groin pain suggests osteonecrosis of the femoral head
        • thigh and buttock pain is also suggestive
      • pain in weight bearing joints
      • pain can occur at rest and at night
  • Physical exam
    • non-specific
      • limited passive and active range of motion of the hip joint with hip involvement
      • a limp can be seen
Imaging
  • Radiographs 
    • indication
      • perform in patients with a clinical presentation concerning for osteonecrosis
  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
    • indication
      • gold-standard for the diagnosis of osteonecrosis
    • modalities
      • without contrast
Studies
  • Making the diagnosis
    • based on clinical presentation and imaging findings
Differential
  • Stress fracture
  • Degenerative joint disease
Treatment
  • Management approach
    • to preserve the native joint as long as possible
    • treatment modalities are dependent on the location and extent of disease
Complications
  • Collapse of femoral head in cases of femoral involvement
  • Degenerative joint disease
  • Focal osteoporosis
 

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Questions (2)
Lab Values
Blood, Plasma, Serum Reference Range
ALT 8-20 U/L
Amylase, serum 25-125 U/L
AST 8-20 U/L
Bilirubin, serum (adult) Total // Direct 0.1-1.0 mg/dL // 0.0-0.3 mg/dL
Calcium, serum (Ca2+) 8.4-10.2 mg/dL
Cholesterol, serum Rec: < 200 mg/dL
Cortisol, serum 0800 h: 5-23 μg/dL //1600 h:
3-15 μg/dL
2000 h: ≤ 50% of 0800 h
Creatine kinase, serum Male: 25-90 U/L
Female: 10-70 U/L
Creatinine, serum 0.6-1.2 mg/dL
Electrolytes, serum  
Sodium (Na+) 136-145 mEq/L
Chloride (Cl-) 95-105 mEq/L
Potassium (K+) 3.5-5.0 mEq/L
Bicarbonate (HCO3-) 22-28 mEq/L
Magnesium (Mg2+) 1.5-2.0 mEq/L
Estriol, total, serum (in pregnancy)  
24-28 wks // 32-36 wks 30-170 ng/mL // 60-280 ng/mL
28-32 wk // 36-40 wks 40-220 ng/mL // 80-350 ng/mL
Ferritin, serum Male: 15-200 ng/mL
Female: 12-150 ng/mL
Follicle-stimulating hormone, serum/plasma Male: 4-25 mIU/mL
Female: premenopause: 4-30 mIU/mL
midcycle peak: 10-90 mIU/mL
postmenopause: 40-250
pH 7.35-7.45
PCO2 33-45 mmHg
PO2 75-105 mmHg
Glucose, serum Fasting: 70-110 mg/dL
2-h postprandial:<120 mg/dL
Growth hormone - arginine stimulation Fasting: <5 ng/mL
Provocative stimuli: > 7ng/mL
Immunoglobulins, serum  
IgA 76-390 mg/dL
IgE 0-380 IU/mL
IgG 650-1500 mg/dL
IgM 40-345 mg/dL
Iron 50-170 μg/dL
Lactate dehydrogenase, serum 45-90 U/L
Luteinizing hormone, serum/plasma Male: 6-23 mIU/mL
Female: follicular phase: 5-30 mIU/mL
midcycle: 75-150 mIU/mL
postmenopause 30-200 mIU/mL
Osmolality, serum 275-295 mOsmol/kd H2O
Parathyroid hormone, serume, N-terminal 230-630 pg/mL
Phosphatase (alkaline), serum (p-NPP at 30° C) 20-70 U/L
Phosphorus (inorganic), serum 3.0-4.5 mg/dL
Prolactin, serum (hPRL) < 20 ng/mL
Proteins, serum  
Total (recumbent) 6.0-7.8 g/dL
Albumin 3.5-5.5 g/dL
Globulin 2.3-3.5 g/dL
Thyroid-stimulating hormone, serum or plasma .5-5.0 μU/mL
Thyroidal iodine (123I) uptake 8%-30% of administered dose/24h
Thyroxine (T4), serum 5-12 μg/dL
Triglycerides, serum 35-160 mg/dL
Triiodothyronine (T3), serum (RIA) 115-190 ng/dL
Triiodothyronine (T3) resin uptake 25%-35%
Urea nitrogen, serum 7-18 mg/dL
Uric acid, serum 3.0-8.2 mg/dL
Hematologic Reference Range
Bleeding time 2-7 minutes
Erythrocyte count Male: 4.3-5.9 million/mm3
Female: 3.5-5.5 million mm3
Erythrocyte sedimentation rate (Westergren) Male: 0-15 mm/h
Female: 0-20 mm/h
Hematocrit Male: 41%-53%
Female: 36%-46%
Hemoglobin A1c ≤ 6 %
Hemoglobin, blood Male: 13.5-17.5 g/dL
Female: 12.0-16.0 g/dL
Hemoglobin, plasma 1-4 mg/dL
Leukocyte count and differential  
Leukocyte count 4,500-11,000/mm3
Segmented neutrophils 54%-62%
Bands 3%-5%
Eosinophils 1%-3%
Basophils 0%-0.75%
Lymphocytes 25%-33%
Monocytes 3%-7%
Mean corpuscular hemoglobin 25.4-34.6 pg/cell
Mean corpuscular hemoglobin concentration 31%-36% Hb/cell
Mean corpuscular volume 80-100 μm3
Partial thromboplastin time (activated) 25-40 seconds
Platelet count 150,000-400,000/mm3
Prothrombin time 11-15 seconds
Reticulocyte count 0.5%-1.5% of red cells
Thrombin time < 2 seconds deviation from control
Volume  
Plasma Male: 25-43 mL/kg
Female: 28-45 mL/kg
Red cell Male: 20-36 mL/kg
Female: 19-31 mL/kg
Cerebrospinal Fluid Reference Range
Cell count 0-5/mm3
Chloride 118-132 mEq/L
Gamma globulin 3%-12% total proteins
Glucose 40-70 mg/dL
Pressure 70-180 mm H2O
Proteins, total < 40 mg/dL
Sweat Reference Range
Chloride 0-35 mmol/L
Urine  
Calcium 100-300 mg/24 h
Chloride Varies with intake
Creatinine clearance Male: 97-137 mL/min
Female: 88-128 mL/min
Estriol, total (in pregnancy)  
30 wks 6-18 mg/24 h
35 wks 9-28 mg/24 h
40 wks 13-42 mg/24 h
17-Hydroxycorticosteroids Male: 3.0-10.0 mg/24 h
Female: 2.0-8.0 mg/24 h
17-Ketosteroids, total Male: 8-20 mg/24 h
Female: 6-15 mg/24 h
Osmolality 50-1400 mOsmol/kg H2O
Oxalate 8-40 μg/mL
Potassium Varies with diet
Proteins, total < 150 mg/24 h
Sodium Varies with diet
Uric acid Varies with diet
Body Mass Index (BMI) Adult: 19-25 kg/m2
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(M3.OR.15.10) A 39-year-old African-American woman presents to the emergency room with hip pain. She has a past medical history significant for sarcoidosis which was recently diagnosed 6 months ago and is currently being treated. She reports that the pain started 2 weeks ago and is localized to the left hip and groin. The pain has been getting progressively more intense. Her temperature is 98.1°F (36.7°C), blood pressure is 122/78 mm Hg, pulse is 80/min, respirations are 13/min, and oxygen saturation is 98% on room air. Physical exam is notable for pain with manipulation without restriction of range of motion of the hip. Which of the following is the most sensitive test for this condition? Review Topic | Tested Concept

QID: 102728
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CT of the hip

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MRI of the hip

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Radiograph of the hip

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Radionuclide scan of the hip

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(M3.HE.13.11) A 7-year-old boy with sickle cell disease is brought into the clinic by his mother for knee and hip pain. The child has been admitted several times in the past for pain crises managed with fluids and hydromorphone. He started complaining of worsening hip pain over the last several days and now walks with a limp. His temperature is 97.9°F (36.6°C), blood pressure is 84/54 mmHg, pulse is 100/min, respirations are 19/min, and oxygen saturation is 99% on room air. On physical exam, the hip appears normal and is cool to the touch. There is decreased range of motion at the hip and pain with ambulation. Which of the following is the most appropriate next step in management? Review Topic | Tested Concept

QID: 103302
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Arthrocentesis

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CT

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Ibuprofen and acetaminophen

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MRI

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Radiograph

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