Osteonecrosis is a joint disease that is a result of a prolonged decrease in the normal blood supply to the bone. Because of this decrease in blood flow, the bone will eventually deteriorate and die and can collapse. Osteonecrosis occurs most often in the joints of the hip and the elevated risk factors include prolonged use of corticosteroids, a history of alcoholism, and glandular diseases.
In its earliest stage, osteonecrosis may have no symptoms. As it progresses, osteonecrosis will eventually cause weakness, pain, and loss of joint function.
Treatment options include medications to slow the progression of the disease and possibly avoid the complete loss of the joint. For advanced osteonecrosis cases, surgery may be indicated.