What Is Knee Osteonecrosis?
The condition known as osteonecrosis, avascular necrosis, or AVN can harm any joint in the body. Osteonecrosis is most often seen within the knees, hips, and shoulders. Basically, a lack of blood to whichever joint causes the bones and entire joint to fail. Knee failure from other conditions occurs when there is irrepressible damage to the joint, and this takes time. With knee osteonecrosis, the entire joint could die within a year. Knee pain and reoccurring knee dislocations are the first warnings of a serious AVN diagnosis.
What Causes Avascular Necrosis In The Knees?
Avascular necrosis in the knees or other parts of the body are from a lack of blood supply. Something prevents the blood from flowing to the knees. Without the essential blood flow, knee pain problems are soon to follow. Necrosis in the knees is from a lack of blood, but the causes that may trigger AVN are:
- Blood diseases
- Previous knee injuries that affect the blood flow
- Inflammation around the knees that blocks the blood
The body may suffer from another condition that later leads to osteonecrosis in the knees. So, if you are currently living with previous knee injuries, obesity, or a condition that affects the bloodstream, protect your joints from failure. This knee problem can harm anyone, but those with preexisting conditions have a higher risk of developing this type of knee pain.
Do I Have Osteonecrosis In My Knee?
It can start as a hip dislocation or small limp, but knee AVN progresses quickly. One summer you could be happily spending time outside, then a year later you are struck with complete knee failure. Always keep your previous injuries and medical history in mind. Take time to learn more about your body and orthopedic conditions that can dramatically change your life. Osteonecrosis symptoms for the knees are these types of pain:
- Major swelling around any part of the knee
- The knee feels sensitive to any touch or pressure
- Locking or chronic pain when the knee tries to bend or move
Above all, the knee will experience severe pain anytime there is movement or bending. Even the smallest activity, like walking, will be painful. Swelling, sensitivity and a limited range of motion are other symptoms that point directly to knee AVN.
Can I Stop Knee Necrosis?
Patients can always take better care of their bodies. We cannot control every factor of our lives, so it is important to make smart choices of the things that we do control, like exercise. Maintaining a healthy weight lowers your risk for many types of knee pains and disorders. Start with light exercises every day, then work your way up to new challenges that help with knee necrosis prevention. Ways to prevent knee osteonecrosis include:
- Avoid alcohol and smoking
- Always stand up straight and face forward
- Exercise every day and stretch in the mornings
- Wear supportive knee braces when recovering from previous injuries