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Avascular Necrosis (AVN) of the Lunate

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Avascular Necrosis (AVN) of the Lunate (Wrist) in a Sea Captain.

Avascular necrosis (AVN) of the lunate is the most common bone affected with AVN in the hand. Idiopathic cases referred to as Keinbock’s disease is rare, with trauma being the most common risk factor or precipitating cause. Avascular necrosis (AVN) of the lunate is more commonly seen then AVN of the scaphoid. As with all traumatic injuries, they come in all shapes and forms. From all sports and occupations, So when a sea captain lost his footing on a slippery ladder injuring his wrist it occurred. AVN is often not suspected early on after injury. Pain and swelling are frequent findings after trauma. It is only when symptoms do not subside in a reasonable timeframe that other diagnoses are considered.

AVN occurs when the trauma results in a loss of blood flow to the lunate, resulting in bone cell death referred to as necrosis. If symptoms persist, orthopedic surgeons often recommend fusion or removal of the lunate and placement of an artificial substitute bone. These surgical procedures carry the risk of loss of some hand function. A natural discussion for the sea captain would be non-surgical Regenerative Medicine approaches such as Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) and Stem Cell Therapy. Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) is a concentrated source of blood platelets that contain growth factors. PRP alone is devoid of stem cells that are needed for a reparative effect in AVN. Therefore, Stem Cell Therapy is the cornerstone of trying to address AVN of the lunate in a non-surgical fashion.

Successful treatment is dependent upon many factors including early intervention. The delay in the diagnosis of AVN cannot always be altered. The long-term sequelae of AVN, most specifically rapid arthritis associated with joint collapse may be a variable that can be addressed with Stem Cell Therapy.

If you’re in pain or had an injury and are looking for an alternative to surgery, contact us immediately at one of our locations. Our Main Medical Center located in Tampa Bay, Florida (727) 462-5582 or at Beverly Hills, California (310) 975-7033.


About Dennis M. Lox, M.D.

Whether you are a professional athlete, weekend warrior, or have arthritis from aging, Dr. Lox can help.

Dennis M. Lox, M.D. is an internationally renown Sports and Regenerative Medicine specialist. Dr. Lox incorporates Regenerative Medicine techniques such as cell science applications, Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP), and Tissue Engineering aspects, to help patients from around the world with a vast array of problems. Dr. Lox is board certified in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. Dr. Lox lectures extensively and has edited two PM&R textbooks, the prestigious A State of the Art Review (Star) on Low Back Pain, and Soft Tissue Injuries: Diagnosis and Treatment.

Dennis M. Lox, M.D. maintains an active practice in the Tampa Bay, Florida area, and in Beverly Hills, California.

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Clearwater, FL 33765
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