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J Am Acad Orthop Surg. 2007 Apr;15(4):208-17.

Osteonecrosis in the foot.

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Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Rhode Island Hospital, Brown Medical School, Providence, RI 02903, USA.


Osteonecrosis, also referred to as avascular necrosis, refers to the death of cells within bone caused by a lack of circulation. It has been documented in bones throughout the body. In the foot, osteonecrosis is most commonly seen in the talus, the first and second metatarsals, and the navicular. Although uncommon, osteonecrosis has been documented in almost every bone of the foot and therefore should be considered in the differential diagnosis when evaluating both adult and pediatric foot pain. Osteonecrosis is associated with many foot problems, including fractures of the talar neck and navicular as well as Kohler's disease and Freiberg's disease. Orthopaedists who manage foot disorders will at some point likely be faced with the challenges associated with patients with osteonecrosis of the foot. Because this disease can masquerade as many other pathologies, physicians should be aware of the etiology, presentation, and treatment options for osteonecrosis in the foot.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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