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  • Emma B

What You Should Know About Spontaneous Osteonecrosis of the Knee (SONK)

Spontaneous osteonecrosis of the knee (SONK) is a condition characterized by the formation of tiny fractures in the knee joint. The condition may lead to the destruction of the cartilage and the bones in the joint. SONK is a relatively rare condition that can occur in any age group. However, it is most commonly seen in middle-aged women.

The cause of SONK is not fully understood. However, it is believed to be associated with the use of certain medications, such as corticosteroids. SONK may also be caused by trauma to the knee joint. The condition is more common in people with certain medical conditions, such as rheumatoid arthritis.

If you think you may have SONK, it is important to see a doctor so that the condition can be diagnosed and treated. Treatment of SONK usually involves the use of pain medications and physical therapy. In some cases, surgery may be necessary.

What are the symptoms?

SONK is a condition that results in the sudden death of bone tissue. It most often affects the knee, but it can also occur in other bones. SONK can be very painful and can lead to joint damage and deformity.

There are a few different symptoms of SONK, which can include:

- Pain in the affected joint

- Swelling in the affected joint

- Stiffness in the affected joint

- Decreased range of motion in the affected joint

- Warmth in the affected joint

- Redness in the affected joint

If you experience any of these symptoms, it's important to see a doctor as soon as possible to get a diagnosis. SONK is a serious condition that can lead to joint damage and disability, so it's important to get treatment as soon as possible.

What can cause SONK?

The exact cause of SONK is unknown, but it is thought to be related to a sudden decrease in blood supply to the bone. This can happen due to trauma or injury, or it may occur spontaneously without any apparent cause.

There are several risk factors that may increase your chances of developing SONK. These include older age, obesity, and prior joint surgery. SONK is also more common in people who take certain medications, such as corticosteroids or bisphosphonates. If you have any of these risk factors, it's important to talk to your doctor about your risks and what you can do to reduce them.

The diagnosis of SONK is usually made based on the symptoms and a physical examination. Sometimes, X-rays or MRI’s may be needed to confirm the diagnosis.


There is no cure for SONK, but there are treatments that can help to manage the symptoms and slow the progression of the condition. Physical therapy, weight management, and pain relief medication are all common treatments for SONK. In severe cases, surgery may be necessary to correct the alignment of the knee joint or to relieve pressure on the bone tissue.

If you or someone you know has SONK, it is important to seek treatment from a qualified healthcare professional. With proper treatment, it is possible to manage the symptoms of SONK and improve the quality of life.

SONK is a condition that can cause knee pain and disability. It is most commonly caused by trauma to the knee, but it can also occur spontaneously without an obvious injury. Treatment typically involves pain relief, activity modification, and, in some cases, surgery. If you experience sudden knee pain, especially after an injury, be sure to see your doctor to rule out SONK.

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