The outcome of hyperbaric oxygen therapy versus core decompression in the non-traumatic avascular necrosis of the femoral head: Retrospective Cohort Study

Ann Med Surg (Lond). 2021 Jan 30:62:450-454. doi: 10.1016/j.amsu.2021.01.084. eCollection 2021 Feb.


Background: Core decompression (CD) has been used in the treatment of pre-collapse stages avascular necrosis (AVN) with good results. Hyperbaric oygen therapy (HBO) was used as a non-invasive treatment for pre-collapse stages osteonecrosis with favorable results. This study aimed to compare the outcomes of HBO versus CD in stage II of non-traumatic AVN of the femoral head.

Methods: Data were collected retrospectively for patients with non-traumatic AVN of the femoral head that was confirmed by MRI and underwent HBO or CD between January 2010 and December 2018, with a minimum follow-up of 12 months. Oxford Hip Score (OHS), radiographic progression, and Short-Form 12(SF12) were used to assess the outcomes.

Results: Nineteen patients with 23 stage II AVN of the femoral head were included, 12 (52.2%) in CD, and 11 (47.8%) in the HBO group with an average follow-up of 34.2 ± 18.4 months.66.7% of patients in CD and 81.8% in the HBO group achieved satisfactory hip function outcome with statistically significant mean Oxford Hip Score (35.8 ± 6.7 and 35.5 ± 5.1) (P 0.009 & .003) respectively.No statistical difference of OHS and SF12 (PCS &MCS) was found between the two groups (P 0.202, 0.128 & .670 respectively).Eight (34.7%) cases progressed to a higher radiological stage at one year follow-up. The rate of progression was not statistically significant between both groups (P 0.469) with no statistical difference of OHS and SF12 (PCS & MCS) in the progressed group (P 0.747, 0.648 & 0.416) respectively.

Conclusion: This study showed that the HBO is promising and as effective as CD in the treatment of non-traumatic pre-collapsed AVN of the femoral head. Hence, HBO could be used as an alternative non-invasive treatment option.

Keywords: Avascular osteonecrosis (AVN); Core decompression; Femur head; Hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBO); Oxford hip score (OHS); SF 12.