Periacetabular Osteotomy (PAO) – What Determines Success or Failure?

The PAO surgery developed by Professor Ganz has greatly benefitted young adults who suffer from hip dysplasia. Saving the natural hip joint is often better than having a total hip replacement. Also, the PAO surgery may delay the need for artificial hip replacement. Successful PAO surgery even allows people to return to sports and activities that wouldn’t be possible with an artificial hip replacement.

The big question is “Who benefits the most from PAO surgery?”, or “Who won’t benefit and should go straight to total hip replacement?” It may be years before those answers are known for certain, but a lot of research is currently underway to try to sort out the best candidates for successful PAO surgery. Special MRI imaging techniques are being used at some centers but this is still a few years away from being highly reliable.

A recent report sheds some light on some factors that may predict long-term success after PAO surgery. This doesn’t mean that these are the only patients who should have PAO surgery because there are always a few severe cases that have good outcomes in spite of the odds. Surgeons who perform the PAO surgery know these and other predictors, and they can advise you of your chances of success.

The biggest predictors of failure within five years after PAO surgery are:

  1. Age older than 40 at time of surgery
  2. Poor hip congruency – poor fit between round head and oval socket
  3. Osteoarthritis with cysts and joint space width of less than 3 mm

In spite of these predictors, PAO surgery is sometimes recommended because of other factors but these three may give you an idea of some of the things surgeons consider before recommending PAO surgery or total hip replacement.



  • Email Sign Up

    Email Sign Up
  • Social Media Links

  • Translate Link

    Para ver en Español Click Aquí

  • SubNav Menu

  • Latest News

    Latest News

    view all

    Can I play sports after my PAO?

    Feb 21

    Hip dysplasia in young adults is becoming increasingly recognized. Man...

    Post PAO Surgery Survey

    Feb 21

    There is a lack of scientific literature focused on the long term suc...


    Jan 22

    The IHDI is pleased to announce the launch of the our Digital Newslett...

  • Latest Stories

    Latest Stories

    view all


    Mar 22

    20 March 2018 - 13 weeks post-op THR, left hip CHD at 46 years old bas...


    Mar 12

    Hi! I'm Nicola, Amelia's mummy and I am here to raise awareness of DDH...


    Mar 07

    Hello everyone, my name is Megan and this is my hip dysplasia journey ...