What is Avascular Necrosis or Bone Death: While our country has just started recovering from the deadly second wave of coronavirus pandemic, preparations are already in process for the expected third wave. Two months after the country started reporting the cases of Mucormycosis (Black Fungus) which is a severe post Covid-19 complication, Doctors now fear that Avascular Necrosis also known as ‘Bone Death’ could be the next possible devastating post Covid-19 condition.  At least 3 cases of AVN have been recorded in coronavirus survivors in Mumbai. They reportedly developed necrosis between 45 days to 58 days after COVID-19 treatment.Also Read - Bone Death– a Major Emerging Aspect of Post-COVID Syndrome. Here’s How to Prevent it

What is Avascular Necrosis or Bone Death? Also Read - Hair Loss Due to COVID-19 - What You Immediately Need to Know

Avascular Necrosis is loss of bone tissues due to lack of blood supply. Initially, the loss of blood supply is temporary causing tiny breaks in the bone which goes on to become permanent in later stages, eventually leading to bone death. This disease can affect anybody but adults between the ages of 30-50 are more likely to get affected. It usually starts with a slight pain but remember that every pain in the bone is not AVN. Also Read - Prolonged Use of Steroids May Increase Risk of Bone Death Post COVID

What are its Symptoms and Causes?

As the cases were majorly reported in coronavirus recovered patients, studies claim that the use of steroids in treating coronavirus could be a potential cause of Avascular Necrosis in those individuals. It usually occurs 5-6 months after the steroid usage. These were the major Symptoms identified:

  • Any type of discomfort in joints, Hips, Knee, foot or hand
  • Early Joint Pain
  • Increased Joint Pain
  • Experiencing difficulty to move or limited range of motion due to pain

So if you have survived coronavirus after the steroid therapy and if you experience the above symptoms, don’t take it lightly and visit the doctor to the earliest. The best way to detect bone death is by an MRI.

How is it treated?

Doctors say that this condition can be treated through medications, surgery or Physiotherapy if detected at an early stage. Orthopaedic doctors at PD Hinduja Hospital, say that if diagnosed early, 92 to 97 per cent patients do not require surgery and can be managed by a treatment called bisphosphonate therapy. Once the condition starts to deteriorate, joint replacement remains the important process of the treatment. However, the condition can worsen if delayed.

Doctors have claimed that this condition might grow in coming months and have declared it as a serious matter of concern.

Script By Sneha M Jain