Effective New Treatment for Osteonecrosis of the Femoral Head
Osteonecrosis of the femoral head (ONFH) means death of the bone of the head of the femur, the rounded end of the upper leg bone that fits into the acetabulum or cup of the pelvis. While generally thought of as a problem associated with aging, ONFH can occur at any age as a result of trauma or disease. In the past, the treatment for advanced ONFH was frequently “wait until it’s bad enough to replace the hip joint.” Early treatment was an attempt to manage pain while slowing the progression of bone destruction. Recent medical innovations have created more effective orthopedic options, which result in decreased pain, require a shorter recuperation period, and are less expensive. Stem cell tissue from the patient’s body is at the center of new treatment for osteonecrosis of the femoral head.
Osteonecrosis or bone death occurs frequently when normal circulation of the blood is impaired. Bone loses its natural shape as tissue dies. Pain and physiological and mechanical malfunction follow. While all factors are not yet understood, trauma such as dislocated bone fracture and diseases that compromise blood flow are often precursors to osteonecrosis of the femoral head. Arthritis, lupus, decompression sickness, and diabetes, for example, can result in ONFM, as well as certain genetic conditions such as Sickle cell disease and Legge- Calve-Perthes. Additional factors are radiation therapy, transplant surgery, steroid use, and alcohol abuse.
The Institute of Regenerative & Molecular Orthopaedics or IRMO has combined the implantation of the patient’s stem cell tissue with other innovative treatment options to provide a uniquely effective and safe method of treatment. Mesenchymal stem cell tissue is obtained in an office procedure using local anesthetic by a board certified orthopedic surgeon. Stem cells injected into the body, along with human growth hormone and platelet rich plasma, stimulate repair and regrowth of bone tissue. Over-the-counter supplements also provide key nutrients to support recovery. The exact course of treatment is dependent upon the stage of ONFH. As an orthopedic practice, IRMO is committed to continuing research in treatment of osteonecrosis. Hyperbaric therapy, for example, has been in clinical use since the 1960s and recent research reveals potential to improve treatment of ONFH. Hip replacement is no longer the only option for patients suffering with the pain and loss of mobility associated with osteonecrosis.