CausesBy Mayo Clinic staff
Avascular necrosis occurs when blood flow to a bone is interrupted or reduced, which may be caused by:
- Joint or bone injury. A traumatic injury, such as a dislocated joint, may reduce the blood supply to a section of bone, leading to bone death. Cancer treatments involving radiation also can weaken bone and harm blood vessels.
- Pressure inside the bone. Some medical conditions, such as sickle cell anemia or Gaucher's disease, can increase the pressure inside the bone — making it more difficult for fresh blood to enter.
- Firestein GS, et al. Kelley's Textbook of Rheumatology. 8th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2009. http://www.mdconsult.com/das/book/body/208746819-6/0/1807/0.html. Accessed Feb. 28, 2012.
- Questions and answers about osteonecrosis (avascular necrosis). National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases. http://www.niams.nih.gov/Health_Info/Osteonecrosis/default.asp. Accessed Feb. 28, 2012.
- Jones LC. Osteonecrosis (avascular necrosis of bone). http://www.uptodate.com/index. Accessed Feb. 28, 2012.