This week I spoke to a patient over the phone who went to the gym about a year ago and felt like she had a groin pull. In the end, she ended up getting Hip PAO surgery. I’ve blogged on this procedure in the past, which involves disconcerting the hip socket from the pelvis, rotating it downward, and reconnecting it. Since having the surgery, she’s asking herself right now, so this is hip PAO surgery recovery? Why? Her hip joint didn’t reconnect to her pelvis in two places, so now she has to load up on Percocet just to take a walk.
As I’ve blogged before, while bone spurs in the hip appear protective of the joint (thus we shouldn’t remove them), hip dysplasia does seem to be a problem. Dysplasia happens when you’re born with a socket that’s too small to completely cover the ball. To try and solve that issue, some surgeons have been increasing that coverage by hip PAO surgery (rotating the socket downward to reorient it). What they rarely tell patients (in my experience) is that this is a huge surgery. This poor woman found this out the hard way after birth trauma caused a small stress fracture of her pelvic ring and a workout caused some hip pain. An MRI showed hip dysplasia and the next thing she knew she was getting hip PAO surgery with a huge plate on the stress fracture. Now 9 months later, two of the three places they cut the pelvis to move her socket haven’t healed (her pics are above, which are enhanced reconstructions from her CT with a fracture site in the dashed circle). She was referred by her physician to be seen by us for a same day stem cell injection into these none healing fractures based on a case series we published on the general topic. What’s the alternative? Another huge surgery to try and reconnect the hip socket.
The upshot? Hip PAO surgery is a big procedure. This is the second patient we have seen in 12 months who has had significant complications, which is amazing as prior to that I was unaware this procedure was even being performed in normal otherwise healthy patients. The moral of this story is to think twice and get multiple opinions before someone wants to saw out your hip socket and try to reconnect it to your body!