Published online May 18, 2012. doi: 10.5312/wjo.v3.i5.49
Revised: February 20, 2012
Accepted: May 13, 2012
Published online: May 18, 2012
Osteonecrosis is a phenomenon involving disruption to the vascular supply to the femoral head, resulting in articular surface collapse and eventual osteoarthritis. Although alcoholism, steroid use, and hip trauma remain the most common causes, several other etiologies for osteonecrosis have been identified. Basic science research utilizing animal models and stem cell applications continue to further elucidate the pathophysiology of osteonecrosis and promise novel treatment options in the future. Clinical studies evaluating modern joint-sparing procedures have demonstrated significant improvements in outcomes, but hip arthroplasty is still the most common procedure performed in these affected younger adults. Further advances in joint-preserving procedures are required and will be widely studied in the coming decade.