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Indiana Personal Injury Lawyer Discusses Avascular Necrosis After an Accident

Guy DiMartino Oct. 31, 2014

Indiana personal injury lawyer explains about the development of avascular necrosis after an accident.

The Typical Client's Story

A client of retains me to assist her because she was injured in a car accident or slip and fall. She injured her wrist, hip or knee. Ms. Client makes an appointment to come in and talk about her case. She is pretty distraught. Ms. Client was at her doctor's office and she learned that she developed a condition called “avascular necrosis”. Avascular necrosis has a number of alias': ischemic bone necrosis, osteonecrosis and AVN. The doctor's explanation of what happened was way over Ms. Client's head.

My client had a lot of questions but the most pressing question was – What do I have to look forward to in the future? Will I be able to be compensated for this injury?

I consider myself a counselor at law and one of my first goals is to make sure my clients have an understanding of their injuries and the law. I explained to Ms. Client why folks develop AVN, and then we discussed her treatment options, and what the future may bring.

Why did Ms. Client develop Avascular Necrosis?

Avascular necrosis is a condition where bone tissue dies because of a lack of blood supply. The term “avascular” means lack of blood supply. The term “necrosis” means death of tissue. So Ms. Client's bone died in an area the blood supply was damaged. When blood in unable to get to an area of bone, nutrition get into the bone and the byproducts of metabolism cannot be taken away from the bone.

I explained to Ms. Client that she most likely developed avascular necrosis because the fracture that she received in the accident cut off the blood supply to an area of her bone. I told her that we should be able to prove that her condition was related to the accident.

What are the most common sites for Avascular Necrosis?

The most common sites in which we see avascular necrosis develop are the scaphoid bone of the wrist (located at the base of thumb), the hip, knee, and since the advent of anti-osteoporosis medications, the jaw.

What are the long term consequences of avascular necrosis?

The bone will remodel and lose shape because of the avascular necrosis. If this happens in the hip, the head of the femur actually collapses and these folks need a hip replacement. If avascular necrosis happens in the scaphoid, the treatment will depend on the pain and loss of function in the wrist. If avascular necrosis occurs in the knee and causes the joint to collapse, a knee replacement will be in order.

Will Ms. Client be able to be compensated for the medical care and loss of function?

Yes; if we are able to show that the other person was a fault for the accident, and the injury caused the avascular necrosis. It is in cases like avascular necrosis where causation becomes an issue that the type of attorney a client hires could matter.

The medical concepts in these types of cases are more complex. I believe it is important to retain an attorney who has substantial knowledge of the anatomy, physiology, pathological process and long term prognosis associated with a condition such as avascular necrosis so they can truly advocate for the injured client. In these cases, the biggest challenge is educating the insurance adjuster or jury that the condition is related to the injury and being able to articulate and support the long term medical and functional issues.

If you have any questions about avascular necrosis that developed after an accident, call our Northwest Indiana injury and accident lawyer or fill out the Internet consultation form on the right