Breaking News Recent studies link femur fractures and Fosamax use. Visit our page on Fosamax femur fractures to learn more. Click here.
Cases of osteonecrosis that go untreated can potentially lead to the death of bone tissue, culminating in bone collapse. There are a number of osteonecrosis treatments used to minimize the effects of the degenerative bone condition. The earlier a case of osteonecrosis can be detected, the better the chances for treatment success.
Osteonecrosis can be caused by taking a biphosphonate drug called Fosamax. If you or a loved one has developed ONJ as a result of Fosamax use, injury attorneys can help you determine if you are eligible for compensation.
Though most cases of osteonecrosis occur at either end of the femur and affect the knee and/or hip, the disease can also occur in other bones. In recent years, a number of patients taking the biphosphonate drug Fosamax have developed osteonecrosis of the jaw. Drug manufacturers and distributors are required by law to protect the consumers of their products. If you or someone you love has been harmed as a result of taking Fosamax, you may be entitled to compensation to offset your medical bills and other expenses. To learn more about personal injury settlements and lawsuits seeking monetary compensation, contact a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible.
Surgical Osteonecrosis Treatments
Surgical osteonecrosis treatments are often reserved for cases of the bone condition that have gone undetected for too long a period of time, leaving the bone and affected joint damaged past the point of correction. In such cases, the collapsed joint must be surgically replaced in order for it to remain functional.
Osteonecrosis of the hip is the most commonly diagnosed form of the degenerative bone condition. Joint collapse in the hip requires surgical repair in order to correct the problem. It has been estimated that as many as 10 percent of all hip replacement surgeries are performed to treat osteonecrosis.
A great deal of clinical trial research has been devoted to the development of new surgical techniques that could be used to treat a number of bone or joint diseases, including osteonecrosis. Some of the research revolves around:
- Evaluation of the body's response to certain materials used in artificial joints and artificial joint design.
- Stem cell research surrounding the repair of damaged cartilage in the joints.
- Tissue-engineering studies geared towards the regeneration of damaged tissues like cartilage.
- Improving the process through which bone and muscle are connected with artificially implanted joints.
Non-Surgical Osteonecrosis Treatments
In addition to surgical remedies, there are a number of non-surgical osteonecrosis treatments for the various symptoms of osteonecrosis.
Weight-bearing devices such as canes, crutches, walkers or wheelchairs are often used to relieve the strain that is placed on the bones and/or joints affected by osteonecrosis. The use of such devices is typically reserved as a temporary treatment to be used as a stop-gap between a diagnosis of osteonecrosis and the initiation of whatever type of curative modality has been chosen for a given patient. For example, limiting the weight placed on an affected bone or joint prior to surgery could help minimize the potential occurrence of further bone/joint degradation.
Non-Surgical Osteonecrosis Treatments Pharmaceutical Options
Although no drug has yet been approved by the FDA for the specific treatment of osteonecrosis, a number of drugs are being evaluated through clinical trials.
Several classes of drugs are being tested, including anticoagulants, hypertensive medications and lipid-lowering agents.
There are several classes of drugs that are being tested for use in treating osteonecrosis sufferers: anticoagulants, hypertensive medications and lipid lowering agents.
Anticoagulants are blood thinning drugs that are used primarily to prevent the coagulation of blood (blood clotting). Osteonecrosis is caused when an inadequate supply of blood (or no blood at all) is delivered to bone tissue. Mounting evidence has suggested that osteonecrosis sufferers have abnormal levels of factors that could elicit blood coagulation. Clinical trial studies involving treatment of osteonecrosis through the use of anticoagulants has shown promise in slowing the effects of the bone condition.
Hypertensive medications are primarily used in the treatment of conditions related to high blood pressure. Research has provided a link between certain cases of osteonecrosis and increased blood pressure within an affected bone. It is theorized that the use of hypertensive medications could help to lower this pressure, significantly relieving any associated pain. Clinical trials testing the efficacy of hypertensive medications in the palliative treatment of osteonecrosis are ongoing.
Lipid lowering agents are used to reduce fat levels within certain cells. The theories relating lipid levels to osteonecrosis and bone death are as follows:
- Osteonecrosis sufferers have increased lipids in the bone marrow of the affected joint.
- Increased levels of fat within bone tissue cells can cause an abnormality that leads to the cells' death.
A number of clinical trials are therefore being used to measure the efficacy of treatments designed to lower lipid levels in osteonecrosis sufferers.
Osteonecrosis is a painful and potentially debilitating disease that can require extensive treatment costing thousands of dollars. If you or a family member has developed osteonecrosis of the jaw as a result of taking Fosamax, you may be eligible for compensation. More information can be obtained by speaking with qualified attorneys who have experience handling lawsuits and settlements dealing with defective drugs. If you believe that someone you love has died as a result of using any drug, contact a wrongful death attorney for more information regarding wrongful death causes as well as lawsuits for wrongful death.