What is osteonecrosis? Osteonecrosis is a bone disease. It results from the loss of blood supply to the bone. Without blood, the bone tissue dies. This causes the bone to collapse. It may also cause the joints that surround the bone to collapse. If you have osteonecrosis, you may have pain or be limited in your physical activity. Osteonecrosis can develop in any bone, most often in the: Thigh bone (femur). Upper arm bone (humerus). Knees. Shoulders. Ankles. It is also called: Avascular necrosis. Aseptic necrosis. Ischemic necrosis.