Avascular necrosis (AVN) results from the temporary or permanent loss of blood supply to the bone and can lead to bone destruction, pain, and loss of joint function. Most hematology/oncology nurses are aware that corticosteroid exposure and older age are risk factors for the development of AVN in children treated for acute lymphoblastic leukemia. Are you familiar with other risk factors in children with oncologic disorders? Did you know that AVN of the femoral head is a common complication in children with sickle cell disease? While nonsurgical approaches may be appropriate in the early stages, surgical management is often required for more progressive disease. Through the use of interactive case studies we’ll review the common presenting signs and symptoms of AVN in children with both hematological and oncologic disorders, diagnostic workup and disease staging, and evidence-based management strategies.
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- Karyn Brundige, MSN CPNP