Avascular necrosis is the term used for the death of bone tissue due to a lack of blood supply, leading to fragmentation of the bone and eventual collapse. The head of the hip bone is most commonly affected due to this condition, but other bones may be affected as well. The most common symptom is pain in the local area, which is aggravated by movement. Trauma, long term use of steroids, excessive alcohol intake, and chronic diseases like blood disorders and auto immune disorders are the causes for this condition. This disease is progressive and may require life long management.
The Ayurvedic treatment of avascular necrosis is aimed at treating the pain, increasing the blood supply to the affected bone and preventing bone destruction. Medicines like Yograj-Guggulu, Triphala-Guggulu, Maha-Rasnadi-Guggulu, Maha-Vat-Vidhvans-Ras, Vat-Gajankush-Ras, Maha-Rasnadi-Qadha, Dashmoolarishta, Nirgundi (Vitex negundo), Rasna (Pluchea lanceolata), Tagar (Valeriana wallichii), Guggulu (Commiphora mukul), Shallaki (Boswelia serrata) and Khurasani ova (Hyoscyamus niger) are used to reduce pain and stiffness in the affected bone and joint. Medicines like Tapyadi-Loh, Ekang-Veer-Ras, Kaishor-Guggulu, Trayodashang-Guggulu, Maha-Manjishthadi-Qadha, Saarivadi-Churna, Manjishtha (Rubia cordifolia), Saariva (Hemidesmus indicus), Patol (Tricosanthe dioica), Patha (Cissampelos pareira), Musta (Cyperus rotundus), Kutki (Picrorrhiza kurroa), Guduchi (Tinospora cordifolia) and Amalaki (Emblica officinalis) are used to increase blood supply to the affected bone. Medicines like Laxadi-Guggulu, Praval-Panchamrut-Ras, Shankh-Bhasma, Shrung-Bhasma, Laxa (Purified wax) and Asthishrunkhala (Cissus quadrangularis) are used to strengthen the bone and prevent collapse of the bone and joint.
Local application can be done on the affected area using medicated oils like Mahanarayan oil, Mahamash oil, Chandan-Bala-Laxadi oil and Vishgarbha oil. This is followed by a localized steam fomentation using medicines like Dashmool-Qadha and Nirgundi-Qadha. Repeated courses of a medicated enema known as ‘Tikta-Ksheer Basti’ are given to prevent damage to the affected bone. This enema is prepared by boiling milk with medicines like Guduchi, Patol, Nimba, Indrayav and Chirayta (Swertia chirata).
If left untreated, avascular necrosis can lead to severe pain and loss of movement within 2 to 5 years. Early diagnosis and prompt initiation of treatment are therefore very important. Ayurvedic treatment can help to reduce pain and speed up the recovery process in this condition. All people affected with this condition should be under the regular care and supervision of an Orthopedic Surgeon.