Hip necrosis, also called osteonecrosis or avascular necrosis, is a painful condition in which lack of proper blood flow to the head of the femur results in osteocytes and the bone marrow dying. This weakens the bone and can lead to a collapse of the femur head and eventual arthritis as the surface of the femur head (articular cartilage) changes shape.
The teres ligament connects the top of the femoral head to the tissue inside the acetablular joint and contains a small artery that supplies blood to the femoral head. The lateral and medial circumflex femoral arteries branch off the femoral artery and supply the femoral head with the majority of its blood supply. The femoral artery is a large blood supplier that starts in the pelvis and travels down the leg to the inside of the knee.
If the blood supply is not steady enough to keep the femoral head healthy, osteonecrosis can set in. The blood supply may be affected if there is a fracture in the neck of the femoral neck or a tear in the teres ligament.
Symptoms of Hip Osteonecrosis
- Pain in the hip joint that increases over time
- Hip pain with movement but may occur even at rest
- A sharp pain in the groin that can radiate down the inner thigh
- Limited flexibility and range of motion in the hip
- Severe pain if the bone collapes from weakness
To make a diagnosis, your doctor may take an x-ray to rule out a fracture, and to see if the cause of the limited blood flow. An MRI will be the best tool to determine the state of the cartilage and other soft tissue in the hip joint. A bone scan or CT scan could also be used to help with the diagnosis.
Causes and Risks of Hip Osteonecrosis
Trauma to the hip joint (i.e. fracture or dislocation) can interrupt the flow of blood to the femoral head, leading to osteonecrosis. In some cases, osteonecrosis can occur with no obvious reason, however, some conditions and indicators appear to put some people at greater risk:
- Being between 30 and 60 years of age
- Hip fracture or dislocation of the hip
- Using corticosteroid medications (cortisone)
- Conditions that may weaken bone or impair blood flow (i.e. Gaucher disease, sickle cell disease, alcoholism, disabetes, gout)
- Radiation therapy
Hip Osteonecrosis - What Can You Do to Treat it!
Diagnosing osteonecrosis early will allow for the cause of the limited blood flow to be corrected and treated, reducing the amount of bone damage done. For any chronic condition that may cause hip necrosis or once the arteries are repaired, improving blood flow to the hip joint is essential to prevent any further bone marrow from dying and improving the health of the hip joint.
There are two surgical treatments for the early stages of osteonecrosis. The first is hip decompression where they drill holes in the area of the hip osteonecrosis to help relieve the pressure on the femoral head. The other potential treatment is to do a vascularized bone graft. In this procedure, healthy bone and blood vessels are taken from another part of the leg and moved to the area affected by osteonecrosis.
If the osteonecrosis has progressed, the treatment is limited to a total hip replacement or a hip resurfacing surgery if possible. The goal of a hip replacement is to restore function and mobility to the hip with artificial parts. This is a good option, as it solves the problem long term and most people with artificial hips live active, healthy lives after their surgery.
Freezie Wrap® Cold Compression Therapy
To decrease inflammation and relieve the pain of hip necrosis and following hip surgery doctor's recommend cold compression therapy. This reduces swelling and pain while limiting the amount of damage done to your tissue. In addition, cold compression therapy can reduce, or even eliminate, the need for NSAIDs that can be harmful to your body.
The Back/Hip Freezie Wrap® is the cold compression tool you need to treat your osteonecrosis hip pain and it's so versatile you can also use it to treat any pain you may be experiencing in your back or legs as well.
The Back/Hip Freezie Wrap® uses a supercharged cooling gel pack, that chills in the fridge, not in the freezer like ice or other freezer packs, giving you deep cold therapy without the risk of 'cold burns' or cryoburn. The medical-grade wrap delivers cold right where you need it.
Cold compression therapy works by interrupting and slowing nerve and cell function in your hip joint and reducing swelling that can block blood vessels. This is important because once blood vessels are blocked or damaged, they can no longer carry oxygen and nutrients to your hip and tissue cells begin to break-down. Without cold compression therapy, cellular break-down and tissue damage continues as the cells do not get the oxygen they need to survive.
By limiting the amount of damage done to your hip joint, you limit the amount of healing that needs to occur. This is a very important step to heal your hip faster and with less pain!
Inferno Wrap® Blood Flow Stimulation Therapy
After severe inflammation and swelling is reduced you can begin to treat your hip with blood flow stimulation therapy. BFST® increases the amount of blood that flows naturally to your hip joint to nourish your femoral head and speed healing.
When the blood supply to the femoral head has been impaired, the body's natural ability to heal itself is limited. It is essential to increase blood flow to stop the degeneration of the bone. By treating your hip joint with BFST® you can increase your body's blood supply to the hip and increase your body's natural healing power.
An Inferno Wrap® is the tool you need to treat your weak hip because it speeds healing and relaxes the surrounding muscles. With BFST®, tissues are safely and gently stimulated. Your body responds with a rapid increase in blood flow to the area, increasing the supply of oxygen and nutrients to injured tissue cells to promote healing. The Back/Hip Inferno Wrap® from MendMeShop® provides effective, non-invasive, non-addictive pain relief and healing with no side effects.
In addition, the improved blood flow helps reduce the risk of atrophy in your muscles. When you stop moving your leg and hip due to pain, your muscles and other tissue can become weaker and dead cells and toxins in the area can cause further tissue deterioration - this can lead to atrophy (muscle weakness and/or deterioration) in your quadriceps, hamstrings and other leg muscles. The Back/Hip Inferno Wrap® can also be used to treat your back, leg and other body parts with BFST®. It is an amazing healing tool that can be used to treat your entire body.
By clearing the area of toxins and increasing the amount of oxygen and nutrients to your hip joint, the risk of atrophy is greatly reduced. Keeping your upper leg and hip joint tissue as healthy as possible throughout the healing process will allow you to improve hip strength again once your pain has gone and your injury has healed.
Would you like to discuss Osteonecrosis or other conditions with an Advisor from MendMyHip?
We welcome you to call our office, toll free, at 1-866-237-9608 on weekdays between 8:00am and 9:00pm Eastern Standard Time or weekends between 11:00am and 6:00pm.
There is no cost or obligation for this service and we will do our best to help provide you with the information you need. Our extensive and on-going research could be of great benefit in helping you overcome your hip pain once and for all.
Living with osteonecrosis is never easy and we can provide answers about causes of the pain, treatment options, potential stretches/ exercise to consider, and ways to manage the condition for the short & long term. Best of all, we can show you what worked for hundreds of our previous clients.
All it takes is one phone call ~ 1-866-237-9608
With these easy-to-use, pain-free, home therapies from MendMyHip, pain is significantly reduced, tissue heals faster, and there's an incredible improvement in the range of motion of your hip. The more diligent you are with your treatment and rehabilitation, the faster you will see successful results!
We've helped thousands of people treat their painful injuries and conditions to get them back on the road to a pain-free life!
Our customers have tried other common hip treatments, such as cortisone injections, pain killers, physical therapy, NSAIDs, and simply staying off their feet to give their hip the rest it needs, all without lasting results - until they found our incredible therapies! In addition, our customers include physicians, professional athletes, sports trainers and coaches, physical therapists, and nurses. These professionals rely on products from MendMyHip to treat their patients, players, and themselves. Click here to read more about their experience with MendMyHip!
Please be aware that this information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider before using any of our outstanding products to make sure they're right for you and your condition or if you have any questions regarding a medical condition. It is recommended that you see your doctor for a proper diagnosis as there are many injuries and conditions that could be the cause of your pain.