Avascular Necrosis

Avascular Necrosis, often referred to as osteonecrosis, is a debilitating condition where the lack of blood supply to bone tissues leads to their gradual deterioration. In this article, we will delve into the chapter of Avascular Necrosis from an Ayurvedic perspective, exploring the holistic approach that Ayurveda offers for managing and preventing this condition.

I. Introduction

A. Definition

Avascular Necrosis is a medical condition characterized by the death of bone tissue due to a lack of blood supply. This often leads to joint pain, limited mobility, and, in severe cases, joint collapse.

B. Prevalence and Causes

Avascular Necrosis can affect individuals of all ages, with various factors such as trauma, excessive alcohol consumption, and certain medical steroidal treatments contributing to its development. After COVID-19 pandemic, this condition has been found to increased in individuals due to longer use of higher steroidal treatment. In some cases, fracture is also involved. 

II. Understanding Avascular Necrosis

A. Mechanism of Avascular Necrosis

Everything that lives inside our body, needs blood for various needs. Out of that needs, nutrition and oxygen are most important factors. All our cells are living because of continuous flow of blood. When this blood supply gets disturbed in any cases then the further tissue gets lack of nutrition and oxygen, eventually dies. This is what happens in Avascular necrosis.   

B. Common Affected Areas in the Body

While any bone can be affected, certain joints, such as the hip and knee, are more prone to Avascular Necrosis.

C. Ayurvedic Principles in Treating Avascular Necrosis

Ayurvedic treatments for Avascular Necrosis revolve around restoring balance, promoting blood circulation, and strengthening bone tissues. Ayurvedic physician examines the status of Dosha, Rakta vaha strotas (circulatory system), Majja and Asthi vaha strotas (bone and bone marrow). He finds exact causes behind this disease, and according to that he plans further treatment. 

D. Stages of Avascular Necrosis 

The most commonly used classification system is the Ficat and Arlet staging system, which has four main stages:

  1. Stage 0 (Pre-clinical): In this stage, there are no clinical symptoms, and imaging studies such as X-rays may not show any abnormalities. However, changes at the microscopic level may already be occurring. Dietary recommendation and exercise can help in this stage.
  2. Stage I (Early): This stage is characterized by mild or early symptoms, but X-rays may still appear normal. Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) or bone scans may be more sensitive in detecting early changes. At this point, there is usually some degree of bone damage due to the lack of blood supply. Pain and discomfort after walking or standing more is started seeing in this stage. Herbal medicines, Dietary recommendation and exercises are advised in this condition.
  3. Stage II (Intermediate or Subchondral Collapse): In this stage, there is evidence of bone damage and collapse on imaging studies, such as X-rays or MRI. The affected area may show signs of bone deformity or collapse, but the joint surface is still intact. Pain and discomfort increases in this stage. Ayurvedic medicines and dietary recommendations can help to revert this stage. 
  4. Stage III (Advanced or Joint Surface Collapse): This stage is characterized by further progression of bone collapse and damage, leading to the involvement of the joint surface. Symptoms become more pronounced, and there may be significant pain, limited range of motion, and joint dysfunction. X-rays and other imaging studies clearly show joint surface collapse. Ayurvedic therapies and medicines can help to revert this stage.
  5. Stage IV (End-stage or Arthritic): This is the most advanced stage of avascular necrosis, where the joint surface has collapsed, and there is severe degeneration of the joint. The affected individual may experience chronic pain, severe joint dysfunction, and may eventually develop arthritis in the affected joint. In this situation, complete cure is hardly possible. But if fracture is not involved in case, then with ayurvedic therapies and medicine, we can improve overall condition of joint.  

It’s important to note that the progression of avascular necrosis can vary from person to person, and not all cases follow a predictable pattern. Early diagnosis and intervention are crucial to manage the condition and potentially prevent further joint damage. 

III. Ayurvedic Treatment Approaches

A. Herbal Remedies

  1. Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera): Ashwagandha is an adaptogenic herb that is traditionally used in Ayurveda for its potential anti-inflammatory properties. It may help in managing stress and promoting overall well-being.
  2. Guggul (Commiphora wightii): Guggul has been used in Ayurveda for its anti-inflammatory and anti-arthritic properties. It is believed to support joint health and may have potential benefits for conditions affecting bones.
  3. Turmeric (Curcuma longa): Curcumin, the active compound in turmeric, is known for its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. It has been studied for its potential in managing inflammatory conditions and supporting joint health.
  4. Boswellia (Boswellia serrata): Also known as Indian frankincense, boswellia is traditionally used in Ayurvedic medicine for its anti-inflammatory properties. It may help reduce inflammation in joints.
  5. Triphala: Triphala is a combination of three fruits – amla, haritaki, and bibhitaki. It is often used in Ayurveda for its digestive and detoxifying properties, and it may contribute to overall health.

B. Lifestyle Modifications

Ayurveda emphasizes the importance of lifestyle choices, including diet and daily routines, in preventing and managing Avascular Necrosis.

1. Weight Management:

  • Maintaining a healthy weight is important to reduce stress on weight-bearing joints, such as the hips and knees.
  • Excess body weight can contribute to the progression of AVN and exacerbate joint pain.

2. Low-Impact Exercise:

  • Engage in low-impact exercises, such as swimming, walking, or stationary cycling, to promote joint mobility without putting excessive stress on the affected joints.
  • Avoid high-impact activities and exercises that involve repetitive joint impact.

3. Joint Protection:

  • Use supportive devices, such as canes or braces, to reduce stress on affected joints for few days until pain reduces.
  • Avoid activities or positions that place excessive strain on the affected joints.
  • Correct your seating, standing and walking posture. 

4. Balanced Nutrition:

  • Maintain a well-balanced diet rich in essential nutrients, including calcium and vitamin D, to support bone health.
  • Adequate nutrition can contribute to overall joint and bone strength.

5. Avoid Smoking and Excessive Alcohol Consumption:

  • Smoking and excessive alcohol intake can negatively impact blood circulation and bone health.
  • Quitting smoking and moderating alcohol consumption may contribute to overall well-being.

6. Stress Management:

  • Chronic stress can contribute to inflammation and impact overall health.
  • Incorporate stress-reducing activities such as meditation, yoga, or deep breathing exercises.

C. Ayurvedic Therapies 

Ayurveda, a traditional system of medicine from India, may offer holistic approaches to support overall health and well-being, but specific Ayurvedic therapies for avascular necrosis (AVN) should be approached with caution. It’s crucial to consult with a qualified Ayurvedic practitioner or healthcare professional before attempting any Ayurvedic therapies, as the effectiveness and safety of these practices can vary from person to person. Here are some Ayurvedic approaches that might be considered:


1. Panchakarma:

   – Panchakarma is a set of therapeutic procedures in Ayurveda aimed at detoxifying and rejuvenating the body. It may involve therapies such as Basti (enema), Virechana (purgation), and Nasya (nasal administration of medicated oils).

2. Ayurvedic Massage (Abhyanga):

   – Massage with specific herbal oils, known as Abhyanga, is a common Ayurvedic practice that may help improve circulation and reduce muscle tension. However, caution should be exercised to avoid direct pressure on affected joints.

3. Rasayana Therapy:

   – Rasayana therapies focus on rejuvenation and may involve the use of specific herbs and formulations believed to enhance overall vitality and immunity.


IV. Case Studies- Real-Life Examples 

Patient Information:

  • Name: Abdul K. M.
  • Age: 58 years
  • Gender: Male
  • Diagnosis: Avascular Necrosis (AVN), 3rd Stage


Abdul K. M., a 58-year-old male, presented with a history of persistent joint pain in his left hip. After thorough examination and diagnostic imaging, he was diagnosed with avascular necrosis, with the involvement of the left hip joint at the 3rd stage of progression.

Treatment Plan:

Considering Abdul’s diagnosis and preferences, a holistic approach was adopted, incorporating Ayurvedic therapies and medicines for a duration of 4 months.

1. Ayurvedic Medicines:

  • Abdul was prescribed a combination of Ayurvedic medicines (including Suvarna Kalpa and Panchbhautik medicines) tailored to address inflammation, support bone health, and promote overall well-being
  • Specific herbal formulations, including Ashwagandha, Guggul, and Turmeric, were included to harness their potential anti-inflammatory and joint-supporting properties.

2. Panchakarma:

  • Abdul underwent a series of Panchakarma therapies – Basti (medicated enema), for 8 days.
  • Panchakarma was administered under the guidance of Dr. Prashant Chivate to ensure safety and effectiveness.

3. Dietary Recommendations:

  • Abdul received personalized dietary guidance based on Ayurvedic principles, emphasizing foods that support bone health and balance his dosha constitution. Diet advised for 4 months
  • Nutritional supplements were recommended to ensure an adequate intake of calcium and other essential nutrients.

Monitoring and Follow-up:

Regular follow-up appointments were scheduled to monitor Abdul’s progress. 

  • Day 1 to 8 – Admitted for Panchkarma
  • At Day 8 – His pain and discomfort reduced by 80%. He can walk and stand much better for longer duration
  • 1st follow up – at Day 15 – Pains are low and he is doing light exercises with walking
  • 2nd Follow up – at Day 30 – Complaints are reduced to negligible. Walking 2-3 km
  • 3rd, 4th and 5th follow up – at end of 2nd, 3rd and 4th month. Condition improved. He started doing his job again at end of 3rd month. 



Ayurvedic treatments are beneficial at various stages, but consultation with an experienced practitioner is crucial for personalized recommendations.

 The timeline for improvement varies, with factors such as the severity of the condition and individual response playing a role. Up to stage 3, Patient sees result with 1 week to 1 month, without using any painkiller or surgery.  

 Ayurvedic dietary recommendations focus on balance and nourishment, with emphasis on bone-strengthening foods. For personalised diet plan, contact us now. 

 Costs may vary, but Ayurvedic treatments often involve a holistic approach that considers overall well-being

Uniqueness of our therapies  

At Arogya Mandir – Shri Siddhanath Ayurvedic Hospital, Miraj, we delve deeply into the ayurvedic examination of each patient. Utilizing noninvasive Ayurvedic diagnostic tools such as Ashtavidha Parikshan and Nadi Parikshan, we precisely determine the pathogenesis of the disease and then prescribe therapies tailored to the specific condition. This approach leads to expedited results.

Our therapies boast the following distinctive features:
– Tranquil and hygienic therapy rooms staffed with trained therapists in a positive environment.
– Selection of appropriate massage oil based on the patient’s Prakruti and the condition of the disease.
– Complimentary Prakruti and Dhatu Sarata examinations before the commencement of therapies.
– Authenticated procedures for each therapy.
– Judicious use of herbal medicines and instruments during the therapy sessions.
– Specialized rooms equipped with all facilities for inpatient care.

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