Highlights

  • The common factor between mucormycosis and avascular necrosis was found to be the use of steroids
  • Three young patients under the age of 40 developed avascular necrosis two months after being treated for Covid

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After black fungus, 'bone death' a new worry in post-Covid patients

Doctors say avascular necrosis (AVN) or bone death is being caused due to the use of steroids, the only drug proven to help Covid-19 patients.

A new health complication being seen in patients in the post-Covid recovery phase has left the medical fraternity baffled after three confirmed cases of avascular necrosis (AVN) or death of bone tissues have been scientifically reported from Mumbai.

AVN has emerged as yet another debilitating condition after mucormycosis or black fungus affected many post-Covid patients. According to a Times of India report, doctors are worried that more cases of bone death are likely to appear in the next few months.

The common factor between mucormycosis and avascular necrosis was found to be the use of steroids, the only drug proven to help Covid-19 patients.

Three young patients under the age of 40 developed avascular necrosis two months after being treated for Covid in Hinduja Hospital, Mahim.

Doctors say, these patients developed pain in their femur bone that is the thigh bone, and, symptoms were detected early and rushed for treatment.

What is avascular necrosis?

Avascular necrosis or AVN is a condition can affect anyone irrespective of Covid-19. It is caused due to temporary or permanent loss of blood supply to the bone, according to Johns Hopkins Medicine. When the blood supply is cut, the bone tissue dies and the bone collapses. If avascular necrosis occurs near a joint, the joint surface may collapse.

Patients may not show any symptoms in the early stages of the disease, but as the condition worsens there could be pain in joints. The pain can be mild or severe which develops slowly.

Why is avascular necrosis being seen in Covid patients?

Corticosteroids are life-saving in the management of Covid-19. Patients who had infection are more susceptible to avascular necrosis (AVN). Doctors say the condition can develop due to a a lower threshold dose to steroids and at the earlier onset of presentation.

Can avascular necrosis be prevented?

Doctors say early detection if crucial. If a patient complains of hip and thigh pain, AVN can easily be detected by an MRI of the hips. Patients with early AVN can be successfully treated with bisphosphonate therapy, according to the studies published.

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