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Arthroscopic management and platelet-rich plasma therapy for avascular necrosis of the hip



The purpose is to describe a noninvasive arthroscopic procedure as an alternative to open surgery for avascular necrosis of the hip.


Patients with grade I or IIA avascular necrosis of the hip are treated by core decompression performed by drilling under fluoroscopic guidance. Liquid platelet-rich plasma (PRP) is delivered through a trocar, saturating the necrotic area. In more severe conditions, the necrotic bone is decompressed and debrided, through a cortical window at the head–neck junction. A composite graft made of autologous bone and PRP is delivered by impactation through the core decompression track. Fibrin membranes are applied to enhance healing of the head–neck window and arthroscopic portals. Platelet-rich plasma is infiltrated in the central compartment.


This arthroscopic approach aids in making diagnosis of the labrum and articular cartilage and permits intra-operative treatment decisions. Visual control permits the precise localization and treatment for the necrotic area allowing cartilage integrity to be preserved.


Arthroscopic management of avascular necrosis of the femoral head is viable and has significant advantages. Clinical studies should justify the theoretical additional benefits of this approach.

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The authors wish to thank Miren Sánchez for her essential technical assistance with PRP procedures.

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The authors state no conflict of interest.

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Correspondence to Isabel Andia.

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Guadilla, J., Fiz, N., Andia, I. et al. Arthroscopic management and platelet-rich plasma therapy for avascular necrosis of the hip. Knee Surg Sports Traumatol Arthrosc 20, 393–398 (2012).

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  • Avascular necrosis
  • Hip
  • Arthroscopy
  • Core decompression
  • Bone graft
  • Platelet-rich plasma