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Post-acute sequelae of SARS-CoV-2 infection (PASC) continues to affect coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) patients for weeks and even months after disease resolution. Severe COVID precipitates systemic inflammation and blood clotting abnormalities, hampering bone blood supply – leading to avascular necrosis (AVN).
AVN is a condition in which bone tissue dies due to a lack of blood supply. COVID-19 may lead to AVN through systemic inflammation and blood clotting abnormalities that disrupt blood supply to the bone. AVN treatment depends on the disease stage and location of the affected bone, the patient's age, and overall health. Early diagnosis and treatment can improve outcomes and help prevent long-term joint damage.
According to Dr. Vaibhav Bagaria, Director of Orthopedics at Sir H N Reliance Foundation Hospital and Research Centre in Mumbai, the exact way in which COVID-19 may cause AVN remains enigmatic. Likely, it could be related to the systemic inflammation and blood clotting abnormalities common in severe COVID-19 cases. These physiological changes can disrupt blood supply to the bones.
Long COVID Can Damage Joints and Bones