A woman with grey hair looks begrudgingly at four items: a sneaker, a person bending over, a person running and a low chair.

Things I Cannot Do With Avascular Necrosis

Avascular necrosis (AVN) is a sickle cell complication that begins suddenly and quickly progresses from stage I to stage IV even without you noticing. Well, at least, I did not notice mine until it developed to stage IV.

My experience with AVN

In the early stages of avascular necrosis, you might experience brief pain or discomfort especially when you want to carry out some tasks. The pain would be so minute that it can be easily ignored.

As the damage in the affected joint progresses, the pain becomes consistent. You begin to notice the pain and feel it for a longer period. In the advanced stage, the pain becomes prominent and you would not be able to carry out some basic actions that involve the use of the affected area.

Things I cannot do because of AVN

In my case, my left hip was affected and there are some things that I find impossible or difficult to do. I made the following list of these things to share:

  • Tying my shoelaces

    The first one is tying my shoelace. As basic as tying a shoelace is, it is impossible for me to do.

    I love fashion, I love wearing nice things that boost my confidence and a pair of sneakers is one of those things. Unfortunately, wearing some sneakers requires tying a shoelace. I can’t raise my legs high enough to tie the lace of my sneakers because of avascular necrosis in my left hip.

    Sometimes, I opt for other casual footwear like loafers and slip-on which do not need any lace to fit. Other times, I get help from anyone around.

  • Bending down

    The hip joint plays a vital role in helping us bend down, meaning that with avascular necrosis of the hip, bending down becomes difficult.

    Whether it is bending down to pick up something from the ground or just bending down to probably stretch, it is a difficult task. Just like bending down, squatting too is difficult. It is not totally impossible but there is a limitation to how far I can bend down.

  • Sitting on a motorcycle or cycling

    One of the limitations of avascular necrosis of the hip is decreased range of mobility.

    If one is not careful, it can cause partially paralyze the affected hip. This is why orthopedics surgeons recommend physiotherapy for anyone dealing with avascular necrosis, to improve how far and how well you can move the joint affected.

    To sit on a motorcycle or bicycle, I need to spread my legs but because of the limitation in my hip joint, I can’t spread my left legs wide enough to sit on a bike. This means that I cannot ride a bike or even sit on one and even if I try, the pain would be unbearable.

  • Exercising

    Staying fit is important to me but with avascular necrosis, exercising comes with challenges.

    Exercising is not totally impossible for me but there are some types of exercise that I cannot do, for example running and squatting. I am supposed to reduce weight as much as possible on the hip but running does exactly otherwise plus it is difficult to run with the pain in my hip. For squatting, it has to do with the limitation in my hip joint. I can't squat properly and it hurts.

    Upper body exercises go well for me, however, for my lower body, I prioritize stretching since I can't do much in that region. I tried Yoga but there are some poses that are utterly impossible.

    Another challenge with exercising is my posture. I am okay with not being able to do some exercise routines but I am also worried about my posture. Having avascular necrosis has impacted my physical appearance in such a way that I can no longer stand straight. My left leg is now inches shorter than my right, which means that there is no balance.

  • Sitting on a low seat

    Many times in public, I have had to stand because the available seats are too low for me. Because there is a limitation in my hip, I cannot sit properly on a low seat.

    However, sometimes and in some places like parks, the only available place to sit is on the ground. This means that I have no choice but to sit. In such an event, I sit to make sure that my left leg which is the affected leg is stretched forward. So, I always try to avoid seats that are low.

Do you suffer from AVN? What are some of the impacts of AVN on your daily life? Share below!

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This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The Sickle-Cell.com team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

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