Osteonecrosis / Avascular Necrosis

Osteonecrosis or avascular necrosis is a relatively new disease to the medical world and its causes are not yet fully understood. The term osteonecrosis comes from the Latin root words "osteo," meaning bone, and "necros," meaning death. It is a devastatingly painful condition in which the blood supply to the bone is cut off or compromised, resulting in the traumatic withering away and ultimate collapse of the bone or joint.

Osteonecrosis is estimated to afflict 10,000 to 20,000 new patients each year in the United States alone, according to the Center for Osteonecrosis Research and Education (CORE). Typically, osteonecrosis involves the larger moving joints in the body, like the hip, knee and elbow. Once osteonecrosis begins, there is no cure other than total joint replacement, where the dead bone is removed and an artificial joint, usually metal, plastic or ceramic, is placed in the body.

Causes of Osteonecrosis

Traumatic injuries, such as a hip fracture and dislocation, can cause osteonecrosis to occur if the blood supply has been cut off for any period of time. If traumatic injury has not occurred, determining the cause of osteonecrosis is much more difficult. While the exact causes and etiology of non-traumatic osteonecrosis are not known, medical experts recognize several known risk factors, such as traumatic injury, alcohol abuse, blood disorders, autoimmune disorders such as Lupus, and high-dose steroid use.

Osteonecrosis is also sometimes referred to as avascular necrosis, osteochondritis dissecans or aseptic necrosis.

Past Osteonecrosis Cases Handled by Greenberg, Stone & Urbano

The Miami personal injury trial attorneys of Greenberg, Stone & Urbano, have represented clients in several cases involving the painful and debilitating effects of osteonecrosis.

  • A 45-year-old man injured his back in a slip-and-fall accident. He received numerous epidural steroid injections for pain relief. Ultimately, he developed osteonecrosis of the hip. He underwent a painful procedure known as a core decompression, where a hole was drilled into his bone. His doctors state that he will need a total hip replacement within five years.
  • A 27-year-old was prescribed high dosages of steroids for treatment of a skin disorder, resulting in osteonecrosis in both hips. He has already had one total hip replacement and is awaiting surgery on the other hip.
Consult a Strategic and Experienced Law Firm With Questions About Osteonecrosis

The AV-rated* law firm of Greenberg, Stone & Urbano has the experience, knowledge and resources to effectively present the causes and effects of an osteonecrosis-related injury to a jury. Our trial lawyers have established professional relationships with some of the world's foremost authorities on the disease, and we understand the complexities of the treatment. For instance, depending on a person's age at the time osteonecrosis sets in, numerous revisions of the original bone replacement may be required, resulting in high future medical costs. Each revision becomes more difficult than the last, requiring greater recovery time and increased pain and suffering. These are important factors that a jury must consider.

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If you or a family member has developed osteonecrosis as a result of an accident, injury, medical malpractice or other means, contact the South Florida personal injury attorneys of Greenberg, Stone & Urbano today for a free consultation. We offer legal services in English and Spanish, and we are available 24/7 via e-mail and answering service.