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Advances in Orthopedics
Volume 2015, Article ID 138382, 7 pages
Clinical Study

Long Term Anticoagulation (4–16 Years) Stops Progression of Idiopathic Hip Osteonecrosis Associated with Familial Thrombophilia

1The Cholesterol, Metabolism, and Thrombosis Center, Jewish Hospital of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, OH 45207, USA
2The Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Cincinnati VA Hospital, Cincinnati, OH 45207, USA
3The Department of Radiology, College of Medicine, University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, OH 45207, USA

Received 22 August 2014; Accepted 23 December 2014

Academic Editor: Rene C. Verdonk

Copyright © 2015 Charles J. Glueck et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


In 6 patients with familial thrombophilia (5 Factor V (FV) Leiden heterozygotes, 1 with resistance to activated protein C (RAPC)), we prospectively assessed whether continuous longterm (4–16 years) anticoagulation would prevent progression of idiopathic osteonecrosis (ON), ameliorate pain, and facilitate functional recovery. Four men and 2 women (9 hips, 8 Ficat stage II, 1 stage I) were anticoagulated with enoxaparin (60 mg/day) for 3 months and subsequently with Coumadin, Xarelto, or Pradaxa, warranted by 2 prior thrombotic events. Anticoagulation was continued for 4, 4, 9, 13, 13, and 16 years, with serial clinical and X-ray follow-up. On 4–16-years anticoagulation, 9 hips in the 6 patients (8 originally Ficat II, 1 Ficat I) remained unchanged, contrasted to untreated ON Ficat stage II, where 50%–80% of hips progress to collapse (Ficat stages III-IV) within 2 years after diagnosis. Within 3, 3, 3, 9, and 16 months after starting anticoagulation, 5 patients became pain-free and remained asymptomatic throughout follow-up; the 6th patient required Percocet for pain. There were no significant bleeding episodes. Long term (4–16 years) anticoagulation initiated in Ficat stages I-II of idiopathic hip ON in patients with FV-RAPC changes the natural history of ON, stopping progression, resolving pain, and restoring function.