Avascular necrosis

Avascular necrosis is the temporary or permanent loss of blood supply to the bones that results in the death of bone tissue. Also known as osteonecrosis, the condition causes the eventual collapse of affected bones as a result of tiny cracks that form when blood flow has been restricted or halted. The same process can cause joint surfaces to collapse when avascular necrosis occurs near a joint. Fractures and dislocated joints usually are responsible for blocking the blood flow to the bones, but excessive use of alcohol and long-term use of steroid medications also are known to contribute to the disease. The ends of long bones, such as the femur, are particularly vulnerable to the death of the bone tissue.


Patients from across the nation trust their orthopaedic care to the specialists at UAB Medicine, where they benefit from the evidence-based care delivered by nationally known specialists in a compassionate environment. Our faculty physicians perform a wide array of complex and minimally invasive procedures and treatments, from complete hip replacements and bone cancer screenings to scoliosis correction and repair of sports-related injuries.

Clinics are maintained at the convenient UAB Hospital-Highlands, which offers easy access and free parking.

UAB Orthopaedics is comprised of physicians focused on specific bone and joint conditions of the hands, back, knees, hips, and feet. Physicians specializing in pediatric orthopaedics, musculoskeletal oncology, and sports medicine complete our comprehensive group of specialists. Our pledge is to work with you to determine the best course of care for your individual needs, and we keep you informed every step of the way. Our access to a wide variety of UAB Medicine specialists in other areas ensures that you will receive outstanding, experienced care.

Specialists within UAB Orthopaedics are highly skilled experts in their areas. Our physicians receive additional training in their area of specialty and stay up to date on the latest advances through professional medical societies such as the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. Because our physicians take leadership roles in professional medical societies and author textbooks that help mold tomorrow’s orthopaedic physicians, they are nationally and internationally renowned for their care.



UAB is an active participant in research and clinical trials for Avascular necrosis. We encourage you to speak to your physician about research and clinical trial options and browse the link below for more information.

View Clinical Trials