The use of steroids and muscle building supplements in youngsters is leading to several types of joints related ailments, including gout and avascular necrosis, according to orthopedists.
According to the doctors, the disorders, if not treated by competent surgeon in time, can lead to lifetime disabilities that are difficult to rectify at later age.
‘Steroids and their metabolites often function as signalling molecules and are highly concentrated energy stores similar to lipids.’
"This is emerging a major health problem for the youngsters. Joint related issues caused due to steroids and muscles building supplements are on rise. In such issues if surgeries are not performed properly then instead of relieving pain and disability, the situation worsens," said Manoj Sharma, head of orthopedics at Jaipur Golden Hospital.
Doctors have said the excess use of steroids and muscle supplements causes osteonecrosis, loss of blood supply to the bones in the joints. With too little blood, the bone starts to die and may break down. The types of joint related problems it causes are avascular necrosis, aseptic necrosis and ischemic necrosis.
Osteonecrosis is most often found in the hips, knees, shoulders, and ankles. You may have osteonecrosis in one or more bones.
Explaining avascular necrosis, the most common type of joint problem among steroid using youths, Sharma said: "In this condition, the ball of the hip joint looses its blood supply, shrinks and thus looses it shape and smoothness. This causes immense pain, and the person may even find difficulty in walking."
"If diagnosed early with the help of MRI scan, then one may be able to save the hip and be able to treat it with medicines. But once the ball withers, the only possible treatment is surgery; in the form of either resurfacing it or replacement."
According to the doctors, 25 percent of the youngsters using steroids for muscle growth are on the verge of suffering from Avascular Necrosis, because of its consumption without doctors' advice.
Agreed Nirad S. Vengsarkar, orthopaedic surgeon at Mumbai-based Lilavati Hospital. He said the problem starts with crippling bone pain, with it becoming severe with time.
Talking about the treatment procedures, he said that though in many situations joint replacements are the only solution, other types of surgical procedures are also available to cure the problem completely.
"In a majority of cases, joint replacement is the only solution but, apart from it, other surgical procedures are also available -- such as bone graft, in which a healthy bone is taken from one part of the body and used it to replace the diseased bone. Osteotomy is also available, in which the bones are reshaped to reduce stress on the damaged joint," said Vengsarkar.