Osteonecrosis, or avascular necrosis of the hip, is a disabling condition that can lead to the collapsing of the hip joint. The condition occurs when the blood vessels gradually cut off nourishment to the top of the thighbone (femur) where it fits in the hip socket. This can be a very painful problem, causing arthritis and the development of a limp. When one hip gets osteonecrosis, the second hip will also be prone to the disease.
A condition that usually occurs in people ages 20 to 50 years, the initial symptoms of osteonecrosis may include a dull ache or throbbing pain in the side of the hip, in the groin or buttock.
Total hip replacement surgery is often the best option to eliminate pain and restore hip mobility. An artificial ball and socket replaces the joint.