Bone infarcts?

Bone infarcts? I’ve heard of myocardial infarcts, I’ve heard of cerebral infarcts; but bone infarcts? What is an infarct?

Normally, blood carries oxygen and nutrients to cells. However, in some instances the flow of blood is obstructed and the tissue beyond the obstruction dies. In the case of a myocardial (or heart) infarct, blood flow to the heart muscle is blocked and the muscle tissue dies; a heart attack.

In the case of a cerebral infarct, the blood flow to the brain is obstructed; the result, a cerebral infarct or what is often known as a stroke.

If oxygen and nutrients can’t reach bone because of an obstruction, the bone dies. Bone infarcts can happen in lupus due to treatment with prednisone, blood clots from antiphospholipid syndrome (common in lupus) and high cholesterol; to name a few. Other names for more than one bone infarct: osteonecrosis or avascular necrosis.

Bone infarcts are usually found in or around the joints and long bones and can be quite  painful. Tell your doctor about the pain, preferably a rheumatologist or a bone specialist, a orthopedist, or orthopedic surgeon

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10 thoughts on “Bone infarcts?

  1. In most cases of ON infarcts, it’s the venous blood supply ‘routes’ affects and not the delivery to the bone blood supply in arteries. However, once the bone cannot carry away the products of bone metabolic processes due to bone infarcts, the body sends out signals not to continue to ‘deliver’ blood to that area that is already congested.

  2. I have osteonecrosis and have bone infarcts on both my distal femurs. My ON was caused by multiple clotting disorders. There is a direct correlation between clotting disorders, the use of steroids and ON. It’s really unfortunate but several ON sufferers didnt know they had a clotting disorder and were put on steroids for one reason or another and even a 20 day course can cause ON in multiple joints. I can’t imagine having to deal with lupus and osteonecrosis. I saw your blog thought it was interesting. I just started one for the ON community because there is so little research out there.

    • There is a lot of research and AWARENESS of ON that needs to be done and I think it’s great that you’re raising awareness of such a terrible disease I have it in all my joints and it’s really killing my life now, but it’s one of those TRIPPLE HEADERS: YOU DON’T LOOK SICK (with ON, SLE or a clotting disorder). Is there a chance that your clotting disorder is Factor V or APS?

      THere’s a group on Yahoo and the folks offer up a lot as far as discussion and/or support. I’ll have to check out your blog, too. Thanks so much for taking that brave step into blogging about ON. A lot of people find it so strange that DEAD BONE IS PAINFUL!!!

      • Oh gosh dead bone pain is excruciating! I’ve been on heavy painkillers for 9 months now. I’m mostly in a wheelchair. Was your ON caused by steroids or do you know you have a clotting disorder as well? I always thought the reason that lupus patients get ON was not so much because of lupus but because of the treatment required for lupus, is that true?

        • I think there are 4 potential causes of ON in my case. The clotting disorder that I know I have, the steroids that I took (but not for lupus, but for another problem), the LUPUS itself and an idiopathic cause. I say that lupus can be the cause, because lupus can cause clots to form in it’s own right. When you’ve got ANY kind of clot that’s near a joint (of a long bone, usually), you risk a clot forming that obstructs blood flow. Nobody knows the cause for sure and for one of the RARE times in my life, I find myself saying, “IT IS WHAT IT IS…” However, I was recently told that both ankles have collapsed that thee’s precious little that can be done short of a fusion.

          if you mind my asking, do you know the cause of your ON?

          • Originally I was told it was idiopathic and there was nothing I could do. However, I had a deep vein thrombosis 5 years ago and discovered I was heterozygous for Factor V. I was told it would have no effect on my life. When I talked to my orthopedic specialist, hematologist, vascular surgeon and my rheumatologist they said they didn’t think my blood clotting disorder was the cause of my AVN. Then I came across Dr. Glueck’s research, flew out to meet him, had very rare blood work performed and it turns out long with Factor V I also have high homocysteine levels and a mutation called eNOS (Endotheliail Nitric Oxide Synthesization) my body doesn’t synthesize nitric oxide properly. The problem is that nitric oxide, in laymen terms, acts as a metabolic catalyst and is necessary in the formation of new bone. I’m really simplifying the science behind it, but unfortunately, the combination of my three disorders all lead to thrombophilia. I also had a miscarriage due to Factor V. I was on blood thinners but my dose was far too low. It seems that although Factor V is common, there is definitely not enough known about it’s ramifications.

            • I have factor V, inherited from Mom or Dad, so I was told by my hematologist that my sibs ought to be tested. He actually wrote a letter to them (generic/form letter) explaining the reasons for what he felt was the need. I disbursed them. Imagine my dismay when one sister said that she mentioned it to her doctor and his response was that he wouldn’t recommend it because her insurance rates might ‘go up.’ It my thinking that from a professional standpoint, that’s irresponsible, especially to the mother of two grown, sexually active daughters. I was denied life insurance because of lupus and epilepsy; NOT Factor V. Maybe it is a ‘hidden’ pre-existing conditions, but I doubt it. Are you aware of this!

      • Do you know the specific name of the yahoo group? I was looking on line and found a few related to clotting disorders, but it looked like a lot of them hadn’t been updated in a long time. THANKS!! SO glad I came upon your blog :):)

        • I can tell you how to get there;
          yahoo.com
          sign in to your account
          on the left side there is a menu, click on ‘groups’
          again on the left, click on ‘OSTEONECROSIS’

          There is a sign up because it’s a list-serve group, but once you sign-up, every post will come to your inbox and will have pretty easy instructions. Lots of fun, I’ll e-mail Kara (one of the group moderators) and tell her to look out for you. What is your e-mail? Annie

        • I can tell you how to get there;
          yahoo.com
          sign in to your account
          on the left side there is a menu, click on ‘groups’
          again on the left, click on ‘OSTEONECROSIS’

          There is a sign up because it’s a list-serve group, but once you sign-up, every post will come to your inbox and will have pretty easy instructions. Lots of fun, I’ll e-mail Kara (one of the group moderators) and tell her to look out for you. What is your e-mail? Is it the cassandraschnupp@gmail.com ?
          Annie

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