Postarthroscopy Osteonecrosis of the Knee: Current Concepts

Francesco Di Caprio, Renato Meringolo, Maria Adiletta Navarra, Massimiliano Mosca, Lorenzo Ponziani

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Knee osteonecrosis is a severe disease rapidly leading to end-stage osteoarthritis, which was classified into three categories: spontaneous, secondary, and postarthroscopy. To understand postarthroscopy osteonecrosis of the knee, all the three types of knee osteonecrosis have to be deepened. This article reviewed spontaneous and secondary osteonecroses of the knee, with special focus upon postarthroscopy osteonecrosis, which is a rare form, affecting patients operated for arthroscopic knee surgery, most commonly for meniscectomy. Due to its rarity, patients and surgeons are often unprepared for this complication. A correct diagnosis is essential for appropriate treatment, and also to determine if a preexisting osteonecrosis was present, avoiding medicolegal sequelae, although many authors agree that osteonecrosis (both spontaneous and postarthroscopy) represent unpreventable and unpredictable conditions. In spontaneous osteonecrosis, the treatment is defined according to the size and the degree of the lesion, whereas in postarthroscopy osteonecrosis, the size of the lesion has no prognostic value, and therefore, the choice of the correct treatment is based more on the timing of the diagnosis. A diagnostic and therapeutic algorithm was outlined on the basis of the actual knowledge.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-8
Number of pages8
Issue number4
Publication statusAccepted/In press - Nov 6 2017


  • arthroscopy
  • knee
  • meniscectomy
  • osteonecrosis
  • treatment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Rehabilitation


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