What is the morbidity and mortality associated with avascular necrosis (AVN)?

Updated: Dec 05, 2020
  • Author: Sunny B Patel, MD; Chief Editor: Herbert S Diamond, MD  more...
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Data on mortality rates associated with AVN are not available. Most data involve AVN of the hip. Mortality rates are low and vary based on the operative procedure used to treat AVN.

Morbidity rates are high and depend on the underlying cause. Morbidity rates associated with AVN of the hip are high; the prevalence of long-term disability is significant. Despite advances in orthopedic procedures, most patients with advanced AVN require more than one hemiarthroplasty or total hip replacement during their lifetime.

In a study that included 1706 patients who underwent total hip replacement for AVN of the femoral head, Lovecchio et al concluded that AVN is an independent risk factor for transfusion up to 72 hours postoperatively and for readmission up to 30 days postoperatively. Bleeding requiring transfusion was the most common medical complication, occurring in 19.6% of patients with AVN compared with 13.9% of those without AVN (P< 0.001). [12]

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