John 15

John 15
‘I am the vine, you are the branches'

Friday, October 31, 2014

Why the PAO Surgery is Necessary

I am not going to rehash my story here... I have about 40 blog postings that already do that.  What I do want to focus on is why this surgery is necessary.  After diagnosis, I was connected with a highly knowledgeable hip PT specialist.  What this guy is able to do with hips is hands down genius. Even better, he takes the time to verbally explain and visually show you how this situation is structural.

In hip dysplasia, the femoral head does not sit in the hip socket correctly. This prevents certain neurotransmitters in the brain from firing because our femoral head connection to hip socket is not flush. Instead, of the glutes muscles firing to hold our hips in place, other muscles in our body fire to compensate. This is why the majority of people with hip pain also experience muscle pain in different locations of their body.

The day this concept really hit home for me was when my PT placed a band in the crease of my upper thigh and torso area.  He then pulled on this band from the back and had me do a squat.  After about my 4th squat, the light bulb went off, I actually felt that squat in my glutes instead of my quads.  He also did other moves through manual therapy that reinforced all the muscle problems I am now having is truly because of my dysplastic hips.

Having dysplastic hips is similar to driving your car across a poorly designed bridge.  One day that bridge is just going to give out from the poor design and wear and tear.  Dysplastic hips are essentially the same concept. One day, they are going to give out from repeated stress.

You can try and train your muscles to force fire, but at some point, the joint itself is going to wear down and osteoarthritis may set in.  Likewise, tired muscles become angry and create trigger points. These trigger points can cause a slew of problems; pain, atrophy, additional weakness, etc. This is why the PAO surgery is recommended for people that have hip dysplasia. It structurally sets the hips in the right position, as close as possible, preventing any further damage to the joint and structurally aligning our body thus relieving those overworked muscles.  Once the bone grafts back together, pain subsides by correct alignment and muscle firing.


  1. So true also having referred pain as well. Eventhough my hip was the issue I was having a lot of low back pain. Once my left hip was corrected I actually had no back problems after my LPAO except for where the epidural portal was.

  2. Hi, I had my surgery a week ago yesterday while getting into bed, with help, I felt a locking pain in my hip. I feel like something shifted. I was walking a lot better with the walker before this happened last night.
    Any advice? I did email my doctor but wanted to know if anyone has had something similar.

  3. It can be normal, especially if you do too much walking right away. If it does not subside, I would check with your surgeon. They normally put the screws in pretty good to avoid anything shifting. For the first 5 moths, I had all sorts of crazy issues that popped up. Part of it is the healing process and the other part is experimenting to see what your body can handle. Congrats being on the other side. I hope your recovery goes well and don't hesitate to ask any other questions.