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Arch Fam Med. 2000 Mar;9(3):291-4.

Avascular necrosis. A case history and literature review.

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  • 1Trinity Lutheran Family Medicine Center, Kansas City, Mo., USA.


We describe a patient with avascular necrosis in both shoulders. Confirmatory testing in making the diagnosis included plain radiography, bone scan, and magnetic resonance imaging. The pathogenesis and staging of the disease by radiography are presented in the article. Treatment options include a conservative regimen of shoulder range of motion exercises and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory agents or surgery (arthroplasty or core decompression). The patient's risk factors include long-term corticosteroid use, smoking, and alcohol consumption. Other known risk factors include sickle cell disease, Gaucher disease, chemotherapy, lymphoma, dysbaric conditions, and trauma. This literature search shows that prevention and early diagnosis lend the best outcomes for the diagnosis of avascular necrosis.

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