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Doctors' Answers to "Frequently Asked Questions" - Osteonecrosis

These comments are made for the purpose of discussion and should NOT be used as recommendations for or against therapies or other treatments. An individual patient is always advised to consult their own physician.

Osteonecrosis [posted 8/6/98]
Question: Are there any cures for osteonecrosis other than hip replacement? Are there any medications or herbs that can be taken to improve the condition? Is there any exercise that may be helpful in reversing the effects of osteonecrosis?

Answer: Unfortunately no. There is one small artery to the femoral head and once it is impaired, there is no way to restore blood flow. Once the cartilage dies, there is no recovery. There are experimental studies looking at regrowing cartilage, but there are no clinically effective treatments at this point. You might check with the NIH and see if there is an experimental protocol for hip necrosis and growing cartilage. Most of the research has been focused on the knee due to its higher frequency and ease of assessment.

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