UMass Chan Medical School Faculty Publications

UMMS Affiliation

Department of Orthopedics and Physical Rehabilitation

Publication Date


Document Type



Musculoskeletal Diseases | Orthopedics


We present the first report of bilateral knee and left ankle osteonecrosis in a 58-year-old female patient on long-term intranasal corticosteroids. Initially, our patient presented with progressive disabling knee pain with normal radiographs. The patient was presumed to have mild degenerative joint disease; therefore, she was treated conservatively. Then, the patient developed severe left ankle pain, and she was thought to have L5/S1 radiculopathy; therefore, she underwent epidural steroid injection that did not provide any benefit. However, extensive bilateral osteonecrosis of the medial tibial plateau in addition to osteonecrosis of the talus bone of left ankle were later diagnosed by MRI. The patient underwent staged bilateral total knee arthroplasty. In conclusion, the diagnosis of osteonecrosis might be challenging because of overlapping clinical presentation with other disorders particularly in the early stage of the disease with normal radiographs. Therefore, a high index of suspicion and thorough history with supplemental MRI imaging are essential for the assessment of patients presented with atypical refractory joint pain particularly in the presence of risk factors.


osteonecrosis, case report, corticosteroids

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Copyright © 2020 The Authors. Published by Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. on behalf of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License 4.0 (CCBY), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

DOI of Published Version



Yousef MA, Ayers DC. Multiple Joint Osteonecrosis in a Patient on Long-term Intranasal Corticosteroids. J Am Acad Orthop Surg Glob Res Rev. 2020 Nov 12;4(11):e20.00095. doi: 10.5435/JAAOSGlobal-D-20-00095. PMID: 33986210; PMCID: PMC7671876. Link to article on publisher's site

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Link to Article in PubMed

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Journal of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. Global research and reviews

PubMed ID


Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.