As stated above, avascular necrosis has many causes. In fact, most researchers believe that the condition is caused by a constellation of factors acting at once to create the perfect storm. This condition can occur in children or adults and can be caused by medications, conditions, or other factors.
Two common causes that cause avascular necrosis are glucocorticoids and alcohol. Glucocorticoids, commonly known as steroids, are used to treat many medical conditions. In some people, they can impair blood flow to the femoral head and cause necrosis of the bone. Excessive alcohol use also causes avascular necrosis. Scientists believe this is due to changes in stress levels, an increase in fat, and sluggish blood flow.
Many medical conditions are associated with avascular necrosis of the hip. These include Lupus, the presence of antiphospholipid antibodies, Sickle Cell Disease, Gaucher Disease, Decompression Disease, Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia, and kidney transplants. Avascular necrosis in children can be due to a congenital condition called Legg-Calvé-Perthes disease. Additionally, trauma, such as falling or being hit by a car, puts both adults and children at risk for avascular necrosis.