Avascular necrosis (AVN) is a progressive condition characterized by a vascular insult to the bone, which can lead to collapse of the bone and subsequent degenerative changes. The femoral head, carpals, humerus are the most commonly affected bones. Once the collapse of the affected bone occurs, pain ensues and results in limitation of daily activities. Spontaneous regression of the condition is rare.
The risk of developing AVN of the femoral head is 0.3% with an incidence of one per one thousand patients per year. The commonly reported causes of AVN are use of steroid medication and traumatic injury.
The use of progenitor cells has shown promise in halting the progression of AVN of the femoral head, and subsequently preventing patients from undergoing total hip arthroplasty. These cells have the ability to survive and expand in the avascular environment/necrotic area. The use of platelet concentrate aids in supply of growth factors to the necrotic region thereby acting synergistically with the progenitor cells.
Our protocol involves harvesting cells from the patients' own body (autologous stem cells). After activation the cells are transplanted into the appropriate site. The degree of improvement achieved will depend on the stage of the condition, presence of other influencing factors and patient compliance with respect to following diet and allied therapies (physiotherapy, yoga).