What is a Periacetabular Osteotomy?

A periacetabular osteotomy (PAO) is a surgical procedure that involves cutting and repositioning the bones of the hip socket (acetabulum) to improve the alignment of the hip joint. The procedure is typically performed to treat hip dysplasia, a condition in which the hip joint is abnormally shaped or positioned, leading to instability, pain, and the risk of osteoarthritis.

During a periacetabular osteotomy, a small cut is made over the front of the pelvis and cuts are made bone of the acetabulum in a specific pattern to reposition the bones. The acetabulum is then repositioned to improve the coverage of the femoral head (the ball-shaped top of the femur) and increase stability in the hip joint. The bones are held in place with screws while they heal.

Periacetabular osteotomy is typically performed under general anesthesia and may require a hospital stay of several days. After the surgery, patients will need to use crutches or a walker for several weeks while the bones heal. Teaming up with a physiotherapist is really important to help regain strength and range of motion in the hip joint.

Periacetabular osteotomy is a complex procedure that requires a high level of surgical skill and expertise. It is typically recommended for younger patients with hip dysplasia who have not yet developed significant arthritis in the hip joint. The procedure can help reduce pain, improve function, and delay the need for total hip replacement surgery.