Abstract: Osteonecrosis of the Femoral Head (ONFH) is a disabling disease affecting up to 30,000 people yearly in the United States alone. Diagnosis and staging of this pathology are both technically and logistically challenging, usually relying on imaging studies. Even anatomopathological studies, considered the gold standard for identifying ONFH, are not exempt from problems. In addition, the diagnosis is often made by different healthcare specialists, including orthopedic surgeons and radiologists, using different imaging modes, macroscopic features, and stages. Therefore, it is not infrequent to find disagreements between different specialists. The aim of this paper is to clarify the association and accuracy of ONFH diagnosis between healthcare professionals. To this end, femoral head specimens from patients with a diagnosis of ONFH were collected from patients undergoing hip replacement surgery. These samples were later histologically analyzed to establish an ONFH diagnosis. We found that clinico-radiological diagnosis of ONFH evidences a high degree of histological confirmation, thus showing an acceptable diagnostic accuracy. However, when the diagnoses of radiologists and orthopedic surgeons are compared with each other, there is only a moderate agreement. Our results underscore the need to develop an effective diagnosis based on a multidisciplinary approach to enhance currently limited accuracy and reliability.
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