Knee Care

Wisconsin Bone & Joint knee care experts offer comprehensive
services to individuals with a wide range of knee pain issues.

Osteonecrosis of the Knee

Knee Specialists At Wisconsin Bone & Joint

The physicians at Wisconsin Bone & Joint utilize cutting-edge technology to assess, diagnose and work with patients to develop innovative treatment plans for a variety of knee conditions and injuries. Our team of physicians are committed to providing you with the best treatment options to alleviate your knee pain.

Providing trusted Orthopedic care in the community for over 40+ years

At Wisconsin Bone and Joint, we pride ourselves with providing you highly personalized and comprehensive orthopedic care. Our philosophy of direct physician-to-patient care means your physician will be an intrical part of every stage of your care. This commitment to a dedicated continuum-of-care model has made us one of the most trusted and respected practices in Southeast Wisconsin and greater Milwaukee area.

Osteonecrosis of the Knee

What Is Osteonecrosis of the Knee?

A relatively common cause of knee pain occurs when a segment of bone loses its blood supply and begins to die. This condition is called osteonecrosis, which literally means “bone death.” More than 3 times as many women as men are affected; most are over the age of 60 years.

What Causes Osteonecrosis of the Knee?

In the knee, the knobby portion of the thighbone on the inside of the knee (the medial femoral condyle) is most often affected. However, osteonecrosis of the knee may also occur on the outside of the knee (the lateral femoral condyle) or on the flat top of the lower leg bone (tibial plateau).

The exact cause of the osteonecrosis of the knee is not yet known. One theory is that a stress fracture, combined with a specific activity or trauma, results in an altered blood supply to the bone. Another theory supposes that a build-up of fluid within the bone puts pressure on blood vessels and diminishes circulation.

Osteonecrosis of the knee is also associated with certain conditions and treatments, such as obesity, sickle cell anemia, lupus, kidney transplants, and steroid therapy. Steroid-induced osteonecrosis frequently affects multiple joints and is usually seen in young patients.

Regardless of the cause, if the disease is not identified and treated early, it can develop into severe osteoarthritis.

What Are The Symptoms of Osteonecrosis of the Knee?

  • Sudden pain on the inside of the knee, perhaps triggered by a specific activity or minor injury
  • Increased pain at night and with activity
  • Swelling over the front and inside of the knee
  • Heightened sensitivity to touch in the area
  • Limited motion due to pain

What Are The Treatment Options For Osteonecrosis of the Knee?

Nonsurgical Treatment

In the early stages of the disease, treatment is not surgical. If the affected area is small, this treatment may be all that is needed.

Options include:

  • Medications to reduce the pain
  • A brace to relieve pressure on the joint surface
  • A conditioning program with exercises to strengthen your thigh muscles
  • Activity modifications to reduce knee pain
  • Surgical Treatment

If more than half of the bone surface is affected, you may need surgical treatment. Several different procedures may be used to treat osteonecrosis of the knee.

Surgical Options:

  • Arthroscopic cleansing (debridement) of the join
  • Drilling to reduce pressure on the bone surface
  • Procedures to shift weightbearing away from the affected area
  • Unicompartmental or total knee replacement

Your orthopaedic surgeon will discuss the options with you and make a recommendation based on your individual situation.

Our team is here for you

When conservative care and treatment is appropriate, we offer the best, least invasive, least aggressive treatment options to relieve your pain and discomfort. When an injury is more serious and conservative care is not an option, our orthopedic surgeons provide the latest in innovative surgical interventions available with the goal of getting you back to the life you love. Wisconsin Bone & Joint physicians offer orthopedic services at three convenient locations in Mayfair, Glendale and Cedarburg.

Wisconsin Bone and Joint Joint Replacement Surgeons

Specialties

General Orthopedics, Joint Replacement

Orthopedic Surgeon

Specialties

Direct Anterior Hip Replacement, Fracture & Trauma Care, General Orthopedics, Joint Replacement
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