Osteonecrosis implies a segment of dead bone within a bone. Though not specified, the most common bone affected is the femoral head or ball of the hip joint. Sometimes the cause is trauma, other causes include the use of steroids or prednisone. Sometimes osteonecrosis occurs in an arthritic hip. There are other causes, too, such as rare blood diseases, and even alcohol abuse. If the hip is the affected bone, for someone your mother’s age, the “cure” is a hip replacement. Of course, prior to considering surgery, patients should use mild
analgesics such as Tylenol and/or Advil. We encourage the use of a cane or walker for safety.
X-rays and an examination will confirm the diagnosis of arthritis. Your surgeon can discuss the operative procedure, risks and expected outcome. Patients your age can be very active, if they do the appropriate amount of post operative physical therapy and muscle strengthening. This might include golf, bowling, biking, hiking, even skiing.