Osteonecrosis: Etiology, diagnosis, and treatment

Lynne C. Jones, David S. Hungerford

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

99 Scopus citations


Purpose of review: This review provides an update of the recent progress in etiology, pathogenesis, diagnosis, and treatment of osteonecrosis. Recent findings: Concerning pathogenesis, there is evidence that there is a genetic predilection for those who are exposed to the two leading etiologic associations for osteonecrosis: corticosteroids and alcohol. Studies concerning the treatment of osteonecrosis indicate that most preservative (ie, joint-sparing) procedures available today have better results in the precollapse stages of the disease and in smaller lesions. Therefore, researchers continue to develop and modify diagnostic techniques, particularly relating to MRI, for the identification and quantification of osteonecrotic lesions. Advances concerning bone grafting and arthroplasty procedures have resulted in improved clinical outcomes for this patient population. The future treatment of osteonecrosis may involve genetic or cell-based therapies. Summary: Although progress has been made, considerably more research is needed before we fully understand this disease. Hopefully, such research will lead to effective measures for saving the femoral head or, better yet, preventing osteonecrosis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)443-449
Number of pages7
JournalCurrent opinion in rheumatology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 1 2004


  • Avascular necrosis
  • Diseases of the hip
  • Osteonecrosis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Rheumatology


Dive into the research topics of 'Osteonecrosis: Etiology, diagnosis, and treatment'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this