Avascular Necrosis

Orthopedic Surgery & Joint Replacement located in Walnut Creek, Sacramento and San Francisco, CA

If joint pain and stiffness have impacted your quality of life, you may be one of the thousands of Americans diagnosed with avascular necrosis each year. At the Joint Preservation Institute, with offices in Sacramento and Walnut Creek, California, experienced orthopedic surgeon Amir Jamali, MD, offers conservative and surgical treatments to treat this condition and restore the health of your joints. Call the nearest office or book an appointment online today to learn more.

What is avascular necrosis?

Avascular necrosis, or osteonecrosis, is a lack of blood flow causing bone death, possibly due to a bone fracture or joint dislocation disrupting the blood supply to your bone. The condition most commonly affects the hip but may also be seen in the knee or shoulder. It can be caused by:

  • Osteoporosis
  • Blood disorders like sickle cell anemia
  • Diabetes
  • Cancer treatments
  • HIV
  • Lupus
  • Organ transplants
  • Excessive alcohol use, or smoking

As the bone breaks down, you may notice pain, stiffness, and restricted range of motion. The Joint Preservation Institute aims to prevent the bone from collapsing further and reverse the damage if your condition is in the early stages.

What conservative treatments are available for avascular necrosis?

For early-stage avascular necrosis, conservative treatments are available, such as:


Medications like non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) can help control swelling and pain.


Taking the weight off your joints may be critical to slow bone collapse, so Dr. Jamali may recommend crutches and limiting your activities.


Doing prescribed exercises can help preserve and improve your range of motion, even though it may seem counterintuitive when rest is essential treatment.

Electrical stimulation

Dr. Jamali may use electrical stimulation to promote new bone growth to replace damaged bone.

What surgical treatments are available for avascular necrosis?

In the later stages of avascular necrosis, surgical treatments are necessary. Fortunately, you are in good hands at the Joint Preservation Institute. Your surgical options include:

Core decompression

For this procedure, Dr. Jamali removes an inner layer of bone to relieve pressure on the area and reduce your pain, stimulating new bone growth for new blood vessels to grow.

Vascularized bone transplant

For a vascularized bone transplant, Dr. Jamali harvests healthy bone from another part of your body and grafts it into the damaged area.

Bone and cartilage joint surface transplant

Also called an osteochondral allograft, this procedure uses donated cartilage and bone tissue to restore the shape of your bone and help maintain the joint’s shape.

Bone cutting or reorientation (osteotomy)

For very advanced stages of avascular necrosis, Dr. Jamali reshapes the bone to decrease the pressure on the affected area.

Joint replacement

As a last resort, Dr. Jamali can perform a joint replacement.

You can fight for healthier joints and decreased pain with good medical care. Book an appointment with the Joint Preservation Institute by calling or scheduling online today.