Patient: What long term effects can I expect being diagnosed with osteonecrosis of the ankle joint without any treatment?
Doctor: Thank you for your question. Osteonecrosis of the bones is caused by decreased oxygenated blood flow to the bone, result ing in decreased bone strength, and eventually the bone will die and become a nidus for infection. Osteonecrosis requires treatment to prevent this from happening. Treatment in the early stages involves controlling the pain symptoms and reducing pressure on the ankle by avoiding weight bearing activity. If the osteonecrosis continues to worsen, then surgical removal of the necrotic bone is indicated to prevent the development of a serious infection and life threatening septicemia.Thank you for consulting AskTheDoctor.com with your medical query