PAO surgery for hip dysplasia

PAO Surgery for hip dysplasia – Periacetabular Osteotomy (PAO)

The hip joint is made up of the ball (head of the femur / thigh bone) and socket or cup (acetabulum part of the pelvis) . If these don’t fit together properly, wear and tear can cause the joint to deteriorate.  When hip dysplasia is affecting the socket, the PAO is the most common procedure for young adults.

During a PAO the pelvis is cut on either side of the socket and then repositioned to better cover the ball. Screws are used to hold the pieces of the pelvis in place until the bone heals.

The following provide further information about the PAO:

Periacetabular osteotomy: An overview

Animation: PAO for hip dysplasia in adolescents and young adults – A great visual overview!

International Hip Dysplasia Institute – PAO resources

Personal Story – Harry


Healthy Hips Australia Ambassador, Harrison Peacock, wrote a blog covering his journey following late diagnosed hip dysplasia. Hip dysplasia – A road to recovery

In July 2013 Harrison had his first major hip operation and reflected on this in the blog he stated “a year ago today I was in London playing against GB at the Olympics…our first win. I definitely didn’t think that a year later I would be having major surgery on both hips!”.

Harrison’s left hip pre and post PAO

Harrison’s surgeon had described his condition as being “some of the worst hip dysplasia he had ever seen”. Returning to the volleyball court was going be a long a difficult road, but Harrison made it.

We wish Harry and the Volleyroos all our luck qualifying for the Rio Olympics at the 1st world qualification tournament later this month.

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Written: May 2016. Revised June 2021


This information is intended to support, not replace, discussion with your doctor or healthcare professionals. Every effort is made to ensure this information is up to date, accurate and easy to understand. Healthy Hips Australia accepts no responsibility for any inaccuracies, information perceived as misleading. This can be reproduce with acknowledgement to Healthy Hips Australia. Handouts are available to download free of charge at