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Concepts of the Pathogenesis of Osteonecrosis

Aaron, Roy K. M.D.

Section Editor(s): Aaron, Roy K. M.D.

Osteonecrosis of the Femoral Head: Controversies and Perils

The treatment of osteonecrosis of the femoral head is considerably more successful at early stages of the disease, therefore, the diagnosis of osteonecrosis at an early stage is critical for hip preservation. The early diagnosis of osteonecrosis, in turn, depends upon the identification of individuals at risk. Understanding the pathogenic factors leading to osteonecrosis enables the early investigation of at-risk individuals and facilitates prompt diagnosis. The most likely final pathogenic pathway for nontraumatic osteonecrosis involves intravascular coagulation and microcirculatory thrombotic occlusion. Efforts are being made to identify individuals with a heritable tendency to intravascular coagulation who may be at risk for osteonecrosis.

From the Department of Orthopaedics, Brown University School of Medicine, Providence, Rhode Island.

Address correspondence to Roy K. Aaron, MD, Department of Orthopaedics, 100 Butler Drive, Providence, RI 02906.

© 2001 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.