Avascular Necrosis of the Foot & Ankle

What is avascular necrosis?

Avascular necrosis (AVN) of the foot and ankle bones is a rare illness that can cause substantial impairment and loss of function. AVN is caused by a lack of blood supply to a bone region, which can result in the deterioration of the affected bone and surrounding joint cartilage.

The lack of blood flow is usually temporary and can be partially recovered by the body’s natural activities to partially revive the affected. However, in severe situations, a lack of blood supply can cause the bone surface to collapse, resulting in severe arthritis of the foot and ankle.

What are the causes for AVN?

A severe injury, which can break the bone and disrupt the blood supply, is the most prevalent cause of vascular necrosis of bones. Excessive alcohol intake, sickle cell anemia, radiation treatments, or taking corticosteroids (prednisone) for chronic conditions can all cause AVN.

How is AVN diagnosed?

Board-certified foot and ankle surgeon Dr. Sherick can diagnose AVN. Dr. Sherick may use additional imaging such as MRI after a complete history and physical examination, which is the gold standard for detecting the afflicted section of the bone and the severity of the disease.

How is Avascular Necrosis of the Foot & Ankle treated?

There is typically no cure for avascular necrosis, but if it’s diagnosed early using X-rays or MRI, nonsurgical treatments such as activity modification, anti-inflammatory medications, injections, and physical therapy may slow its progression. Because avascular necrosis is a progressive condition, it often requires surgery. Dr. Ryan M. Sherick typically utilizes 3D-printed custom or patient-specific bone implants to surgically fix this condition. Visit the Apex Foot & Ankle Institute today to learn more.

Dr. Ryan M. Sherick is a Fellowship-Trained Foot & Ankle Surgeon with advanced training in the surgical and non-surgical management for avascular necrosis of the foot and ankle. Dr. Sherick proudly provides comprehensive care to the following areas in California for avascular necrosis of the foot and ankle: Thousand Oaks, Westlake Village, Agoura Hills, Malibu, Calabasas, West Hills, Chatsworth, and the entire Conejo Valley, San Fernando Valley, Santa Rosa Valley, and greater Los Angeles area.