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Updated June 16, 2009

Definition: Osteonecrosis (ON) is a condition that occurs when an area of bone loses its normal blood supply. Because of the loss of nourishment, an area of bone becomes weak and dies. Osteonecrosis is also referred to as aseptic necrosis, avascular necrosis, and ischemic necrosis, but all are descriptions of the same problem.

Treatment of osteonecrosis depends entirely on the degree of necrosis (or bone death) and the site of the damage. Initial therapy is usually directed at alleviating pain and protecting the bone. More extensive therapy, including surgery, may also be necessary in the later stages of osteonecrosis.

Also Known As: Avascular Necrosis, Aseptic Necrosis, Ischemic Necrosis, AVN, ON
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