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How a PAO is done – in layman’s terms March 1, 2010

Posted by hiphoperation in The op.
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A doctor and fellow PAO patient recently described how a PAO is done:

The cutting is done in part with mallets and chisels (exactly like a carpenters!) and a small electric saw… The leg is moved from straight to bent at hip and knee throughout operation but very little twisting, to ensure freedom of joint movement and to get to the joint. He [the surgeon] puts a big screw called a swhanz screw into the pelvis near acetabulum and once all the bone cuts (or osteotomie) are done uses this to mobilise the acetabular fragment and with use of x-rays gets it into the best position. Then uses 3-4 (4.5 mm wide and 10-14cm long) screws to fix it in place.

He then reattachs the two muscles he cuts to get to the hip join back to the pelvis with fibre wire. Stops all bleeding and closes. It’s obviously a lot more complicated than that and takes about 2-3 hours.

Simple as that!


1. Brandi - March 26, 2013

I am a 20 year old F, dancer who tore my labrum in my hip socket, and then discovered that I have pretty extreme hip dysplasia as well. In order to stabilize my hip I have been told I will need two PAO’s one on each side, as well as my labrum repaired on my injured hip. It’s been a hard road just learning and accepting all of these things and getting used to the idea of having a big surgery like this… or in my case two big surgeries. It gives me hope for the positive and confidence reading your blog. So thank you for sharing. Good luck with your future! I hope the recovery continues to go well. Also if you have back pain you should think about seeing a chiropractor! My dad is a chiropractor and I have a permanent back condition. It is literally like the only thing that helps give complete relief! Just food for thought. 🙂

Blue - July 29, 2013

I am 1 1/2 weeks post op from PAO and can relate to the shock of the surgery. I found out about my hip after tearing my labrum and not recovering during physical therapy. The recovery is progressing but the frustration of being so dependent post procedure. But I believe it will continue to improve and reading the blogs has really helped to validate what very few understand about this procedure.

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