Treatment for osteonecrosis of the femoral head

Treatment for osteonecrosis of the femoral head
ITRT photo: During an osteonecrosis of the femoral head procedure.

Treatment for osteonecrosis of the femoral head usually affects men aged 40 to 60. In half of the cases the condition is bilateral, and very often the cause is unknown. It may resolve without sequelae, but most patients develop osteoarthritis of the hip and require a total hip replacement implant. Untreated osteonecrosis usually results in a total hip replacement. The aim of all therapeutic techniques is to reduce or delay the percentage of cases that require prosthetic treatment.

In 2007, ITRT conducted a pilot clinical trial to assess the efficacy of grafts consisting of bone marrow progenitor cells expanded with the Aastrom Replicell bioreactor. The progression of 8 out of 9 patients was satisfactory, slowing the usual rate of progression and precluding the need for a hip replacement after 5 years of follow-up. If the femoral head is still spherical, treatment for osteonecrosis consists of tunnelling through the femoral neck to the necrotic area using X-ray guidance and implanting the bone graft, comprising 40 million stem cells contained within calcium material granules.