Conservative treatment of aseptic necrosis of the femoral head in adults (literature review)

Lobashov V.V., Zainutdinov A.V., Akhtiamov I.F.


Aseptic necrosis of the femoral head (ANFH) is one of the orthopedic diseases affecting the socially active population. This fact determines the keen interest of researchers in this nosological type. At present, there is no consensus on the ANFH etiology and pathogenesis, what complicates the choice of treatment tactics. The efficiency of conservative treatment, despite the existence of several options, is currently controversial. The reasons for this remain the ambiguity of research results associated with a low level of evidence, heterogeneity of patients samples, different approaches to studying the efficacy of various treatment methods. The aim of this work is to analyze studies of a high level of evidence on the effectiveness of the use of conservative methods in the treatment of ANFH.
Material and methods
The study reviews the studies published between 2010 and 2017 (61) available in various information systems (PubMed,, etc.).
The data from the studies of evidence levels I and II showed the ineffectiveness of using the method of joint unloading and lipid-lowering agents in the treatment of patients with ANFH. The use of anticoagulants in idiopathic (primary) ANFH in the pre-collapse stage was justified. The effectiveness of biophysical methods (hyperbaric oxygenation, extracorporeal shockwave therapy and pulsed electromagnetic fields) and cell therapy was confirmed in terms of relieving pain, improving the functional state of the joint and metabolic processes in it at the early stage of the disease. The efficacy of the drug iloprost in eliminating pain and edema in patients with ANFH at an early stage was proven. The opinions of researchers about the effect of bisphosphonates on the results of treatment in patients with ANFH are controversial.
There is insufficient evidence to prove the effectiveness of any of the conservative treatment methods, but there are studies proving their partial effectiveness. Complete recovery of the joint, as a rule, does not occur, but in most cases it is possible to prevent joint damage, reduce destructive processes in the femoral head and pain, and maintain the functional state of the muscles.


avascular necrosis, femoral head, conservative treatment

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