The periacetabular osteotomy was designed to treat developmental hip dysplasia. The procedure is designed to maintain the hip’s original structures while altering alignment to preserve proper function. PAO corrects the major mechanical problems involved in a shallow hip socket (acetabulum), without introducing artificial components into a hip joint.
An ideal patient for a PAO has minimal or no damage to the cartilage on the femoral head or acetabulum. A patient with damage to the labrum will likely remain a candidate to the surgery, assuming their articular cartilage is still substantially intact. The damage to the labrum may be addressed with hip arthroscopy at the time of PAO. A special test, called a dGEMRIC MRI, will be ordered to estimate the damage to the articular cartilage prior to surgery. This helps determine if a patient has a good prognosis for a PAO. If the patient does not have enough articular cartilage, the patient is considered to be at a high failure rate for a PAO and may need to consider other treatment options, ranging from conservative treatments to hip arthroscopy, or even total hip replacement.