Osteonecrosis Quiz

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Tomohiro Hamahata

Tomohiro Hamahata, MD (Orthopedic surgery)

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Learn more about Osteonecrosis

Content updated on Sep 20, 2022

What is osteonecrosis?

A condition where parts of bone are damaged and die out. It can be caused by direct injury to the bone (e.g. a fracture or dislocation), or indirect injury (e.g. alcohol, smoking, medications or radiotherapy).

Symptoms of osteonecrosis

  • Taking steroids

  • Difficulty moving the joint(s)

  • Knee pain

  • Hip pain

Questions your doctor may ask to check for osteonecrosis

Your doctor may ask these questions to diagnose osteonecrosis

  • Are you currently taking steroids (e.g. Prednisolone, Hydrocortisone, Dexamethasone)?

  • Are your joints stiff and difficult to move?

  • Do you have pain in the knee(s)

  • Do you have pain in your hip joints?

Treatment for osteonecrosis

Treatment aims to prevent further bone damage and reduce pain. This is done through lifestyle changes like taking weight off the joint, avoiding strenuous activity, and avoiding alcohol, smoking, culprit drugs and other causes of bone damage. In some cases, a bone surgery or transplant may be advised.

View the symptoms of Osteonecrosis


  • Lespasio MJ, Sodhi N, Mont MA. Osteonecrosis of the Hip: A Primer. Perm J. 2019;23:18-100. doi: 10.7812/TPP/18-100. PMID: 30939270; PMCID: PMC6380478.


  • Weinstein RS. Glucocorticoid-induced osteonecrosis. Endocrine. 2012 Apr;41(2):183-90. doi: 10.1007/s12020-011-9580-0. Epub 2011 Dec 15. PMID: 22169965; PMCID: PMC3712793.


  • Rioux-Forker D, Shin AY. Osteonecrosis of the Lunate: Kienböck Disease. J Am Acad Orthop Surg. 2020 Jul 15;28(14):570-584. doi: 10.5435/JAAOS-D-20-00020. PMID: 32692092.


  • Chang C, Greenspan A, Gershwin ME. The pathogenesis, diagnosis and clinical manifestations of steroid-induced osteonecrosis. J Autoimmun. 2020 Jun;110:102460. doi: 10.1016/j.jaut.2020.102460. Epub 2020 Apr 16. PMID: 32307211.


Reviewed By:

Tomohiro Hamahata

Tomohiro Hamahata, MD (Orthopedic surgery)

From our team of 50+ doctors

Just 3 minutes.
Developed by doctors.

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