Osteonecrosis Treatment Denver

What is Osteonecrosis?

Osteonecrosis of the humeral head is a disease that involves osteocytes and is characterized by bone death. Osteonecrosis is also called aseptic necrosis or avascular necrosis.

Blood supply of the head of the humerus is compromised or disrupted enough that a portion of the bone dies. The necrotic, or dead, bone can collapse or flatten leaving an abnormally shaped humeral head. As the head of the humerus continues to articulate with the glenoid during normal shoulder motion, the abnormally shaped head can rub unequally on the surface of the glenoid, which can lead to degeneration of the articular cartilage on the surface of either bone or both. The degeneration or loss of this cartilage leads to osteoarthritis of the shoulder joint and can become severe enough that a total shoulder replacement is necessary.

The humeral head is the second most common site in the body for avascular necrosis to occur.

What are the Causes of Osteonecrosis?

  • Chronic or high-dose corticosteroid use (i.e. Prednisone)
  • Trauma to the joint like fracture or dislocation
  • Decompression Sickness related to scuba diving
  • Sickle Cell Disease
  • Alcohol Abuse
  • Smoking

What is the Treatment for Osteonecrosis?

Non-surgical treatments include therapy to help with range of motion and pain control.

Surgical treatments can include: