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Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center (GARD)

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Factor V Leiden thrombophilia


* Not a rare disease
Other Names for this Disease
  • APC resistance, Leiden type
  • Hereditary resistance to activated protein C
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Your Question

I was recently diagnosed with factor V Leiden. It was found when I needed surgery on my right ankle, which just broke without injury. I was on Coumadin, a blood thinner. Then two months after surgery, my left ankle broke in the same exact spot again just from being on crutches. The same bone broke at the exact spot on both ankles, so I started asking questions. My orthopedic surgeon said because of the factor V Leiden I was getting blood clots in the capillaries going to that section of my bone. The effect was of course bone death and breakage. I would like to know if my doctor's claims could be plausible.

Our Answer

We have identified the following information that we hope you find helpful. If you still have questions, please contact us.

Can clotting disorders, such as factor V Leiden, play a role in osteonecrosis? 

Osteonecrosis” means bone death and results from poor blood supply to an area of bone.  Osteonecrosis can impact the hip, knee, shoulder, ankle and other joints.[1]  Osteonecrosis can be associated with steroid therapy, sickle cell disease, radiation therapy and alcoholism.

Some studies have found that clotting disorders, such as factor V Leiden, may play a role in causing osteonecrosis.[1642,1643,1644]  The possible mechanism could be reduced circulation to the bone because of clots (thrombosis) in the microcirculation.[2] 
Last updated: 4/20/2011