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Aseptic Necrosis of the Hip

  • Cynthia M. Johnson, MA
Publication Type:


Aseptic Necrosis of the Hip

(Osteonecrosis of the Hip; Avascular Necrosis of the Hip; Ischemic Necrosis of the Hip; Osteochondritis Dissecans of the Hip)


Aseptic necrosis of the hip is the death of bone tissue in the head of the thigh bone due to poor blood supply.

Legg-Calvé-Perthes disease is a type of aseptic necrosis in children. It affects the growth plate at the upper end of the thigh bone.

The Hip Joint.

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Aseptic necrosis of the hip is caused by any event or health problem that blocks blood supply to the head of the thigh bone.

Risk Factors

Aseptic necrosis of the hip is more common in people who are between 30 and 50 years of age. It is also more common in men. Some things that may raise the risk are:

  • Corticosteroid use
  • Alcohol use disorder
  • Smoking
  • Hip trauma, such as hip fracture, hip dislocation, and prior hip surgery
  • Cushing disease
  • Sickle cell disease
  • Blood clotting disorders, such as thrombophilia
  • Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE)
  • HIV infection
  • Kidney failure


There may not be symptoms of aseptic necrosis of the hip in the early stage. People who do have problems may have:

  • Hip pain
  • Problems moving the hip
  • Groin pain and throbbing that may be worse when bearing weight
  • Buttock, thigh, and knee pain


The doctor will ask about symptoms and health history. A physical exam will be done.

Images may be taken of the hip. This can be done with:


The goal of treatment is to ease symptoms and stop damage. Treatments may include:

  • Limiting activities that cause pain
  • Using a cane or walker to keep weight off the hip
  • Physical therapy to help with strength, flexibility, and range of motion
  • Avoiding or limiting alcohol and smoking

Other choices are:


There are no guidelines to prevent aseptic necrosis of the hip.


Medicine may be given to:

  • Ease pain
  • Prevent loss of bone mass
  • Prevent blood clots
  • Improve blood flow




  • Osteonecrosis of the hip in adults. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://www.dynamed.com/condition/osteonecrosis-of-the-hip-in-adults.
  • Osteonecrosis of the hip. Ortho Info—American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons website. Available at: https://orthoinfo.aaos.org/en/diseases--conditions/osteonecrosis-of-the-hip.


  • Warren A. Bodine, DO, CAQSM
Last Updated:

This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.