(Subchondral Edema) Insufficiency Fracture Femoral Head

Insufficiency fractures of the femoral head (the upper end of the thigh bone) occur due to decreased strength of the bone. The condition is generally seen in elderly women as well as those suffering from osteoporosis or osteopenia. X-rays usually show no abnormalities during the early stages of the condition and an MRI scan may be necessary to confirm the diagnosis. Characteristic findings on an MRI scan includes diffuse bone marrow edema and a band like lesion which corresponds to the fracture line. Some patients may respond to conservative treatments such as non-weightbearing, traction, analgesics, and rest. If painful symptoms are not relieved by this approach, surgical treatment of the fracture may be necessary.

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