Avascular Necrosis

Comprehensive Musculoskeletal Care & Foot and Ankle Surgeons located in Scottsdale, AZ and servicing the greater Phoenix area
Avascular Necrosis}

Avascular Necrosis services offered in Scottsdale, AZ

Avascular necrosis is a rare but potentially serious condition characterized by foot and ankle pain. David Larson, DPM, a fellowship-trained foot and ankle surgeon, specializes in diagnosing and treating avascular necrosis of the foot and ankle. After an exam, Dr. Larson can determine your risk and make treatment recommendations. To make an appointment, call the office in Mesa or Phoenix, Arizona, or request an appointment online today.

Avascular Necrosis Q&A

What is avascular necrosis?

Avascular necrosis (osteonecrosis) occurs when your blood stops reaching the bones in your feet or ankles. If your lower extremities don’t get enough circulation, your bones and surrounding tissues don’t get the oxygen and nutrients they need to thrive. 

Over time, avascular necrosis causes your bones to fracture and collapse, increasing your risk of mobility problems and other more serious issues, like an infection.

What are the symptoms of avascular necrosis?

Symptoms of avascular necrosis include:

  • Foot or ankle stiffness
  • Dull, aching pain deep inside the ankle joint
  • Foot or ankle pain when lying down
  • Difficulty standing or placing weight on the affected foot

As the condition worsens, you might also experience pain that extends into your legs, groin, or buttocks.

When should I see a doctor about avascular necrosis?

Make an appointment with Dr. Larson if you experience foot or ankle pain that lasts for more than a few days and it doesn’t improve with at-home treatments, like ice and rest. If you have a history of sports-related ankle injuries, like sprains, fractures, or dislocated joints, you might also need podiatric treatment.

How is avascular necrosis diagnosed?

To diagnose avascular necrosis, Dr. Larson reviews your medical records and asks about your symptoms, including where the pain occurs, what it feels like, and if it extends into your legs or groin. 

Next, he completes a physical exam. He looks at your foot and ankle, checking for swelling, redness, or bruising. Then, he gently presses on your joints to identify sensitive areas and moves your ankle to assess its range of motion. Dr. Larson also orders diagnostic imaging, like X-rays, an MRI, or a bone scan to check for fractures or other types of damage.

How is avascular necrosis treated?

Treatment of avascular necrosis depends on many factors, including your age, the severity of your symptoms, and your health history. There’s no cure, but prescription medication and healthy lifestyle changes can prevent additional bone loss and improve your mobility. Dr. Larson might recommend:

  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
  • Cholesterol-lowering medication
  • Osteoporosis medication
  • Blood thinners
  • Medications that open blood vessels
  • Rest
  • Physical therapy
  • Electrical stimulation

If you have an advanced case of avascular necrosis, Dr. Larson might recommend surgery. During surgery, he uses special tools to remove diseased or damaged bone, increasing circulation and your body’s natural healing process.

To receive treatment for avascular necrosis, call the practice of David Larson, DPM, or request an appointment online today.

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