PAO Surgeons Baton Rouge

PAO for Hip Dysplasia

Periacetabular osteotomy (PAO) is a safe and effective treatment used to treat hip dysplasia.  It improves hip functionality, lessens pain and other associated symptoms, and reduces long-term complications from hip dysplasia such as osteoarthritis.

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What is Hip Dysplasia?

Hip dysplasia is a condition in which the hip socket is too shallow and does not fully cover the head (ball) of the femur.  Symptoms include:

  • Differing leg lengths
  • Limp
  • Reduced hip flexibility
  • Clicking or popping in the joint
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PAO Patient Factors

Determining if a patient is a candidate for PAO will depend on a number of factors, including: 


hip dysplasia-563093-editedAge - PAO is well indicated in patients who have reached skeletal maturity and do not also suffer from advanced osteoarthritis of the hip joint.  The procedure has been shown to be most effective in patients under the age of 40.  




Hip x-ray-391456-editedJoint Congruence - Joint congruence is the relation of two opposing joint surfaces and their shape or contour.  In hip dysplasia patients, surgeons must consider the curvature of the socket as compared to the curvature of the femoral head.   Ideally, the shape of the ball of the femur and the sides of the socket will match.

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Joint Space - Normal thickness of the joint space is 4mm.  In patients who have a joint space of 2mm or less, the joint is likely too degenerated for PAO success.


PAO Recovery

PAO allows for the hip joint to be preserved rather than replaced with artificial parts.  It offers an improved long-term outlook when performed on an ideal candidate.  However, it is a major procedure which requires an extensive recovery consisting of:

  • 3 to 5 days of inpatient recovery
  • Up to 8 weeks of reduced weightbearing and walking with the aid of crutches
  • Up to 3 months of physical therapy
  • Resume normal activities approximately 6 to 8 weeks post-operatively
  • Resume sports and exercise approximately 3 to 6 months post-operatively


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