Definition

A hip osteotomy is surgery to cut, reshape, and reposition the bones of the pelvis or legs.

The Hip Joint
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Reasons for Procedure

This surgery is done when the hip bones do not fit together well. This can cause pain and make it hard to move. It can also lead to problems like arthritis.

It is most often done in children with health problems that affect the hip, such as cerebral palsy.

Possible Complications

Problems are rare, but all procedures have some risk. The doctor will go over some problems that could happen, such as:

  • Excess bleeding
  • Problems from anesthesia, such as wheezing or sore throat
  • Infection
  • Blood clots
  • Poor bone healing
  • Shortening of the leg
  • The ball of the hip does not fit well into the socket
  • Injuries to nerves or blood vessels

Things that may raise the risk of problems are:

  • Smoking
  • Chronic diseases, such as diabetes or obesity

What to Expect

Prior to Procedure

The surgical team may meet with you to talk about:

  • Anesthesia options
  • Any allergies you may have
  • The medicines, herbs, and supplements that you take and whether you need to stop taking them before surgery
  • Fasting, such as avoiding food or drink after midnight the night before
  • Arranging a ride to and from surgery
  • Tests that will need to be done before surgery, such as images of the hip bones

Anesthesia

General anesthesia will be used. You will be asleep.

Description of the Procedure

Several incisions will be made around the hip joint. Changes will be made to the bones. The leg and/or pelvic bones will need to be cut. A wedge of bone may be removed. This wedge will be attached to a new area and held in place with plates and screws. The cuts and wedge will allow the shape of the bone to be changed to position them into a better place. The incisions will be closed with stitches. Bandages will be placed over them.

How Long Will It Take?

How long it takes depends on the changes that need to be made. It may take 2 to 5 hours.

Will It Hurt?

Pain and swelling are common in the first 1 to 2 weeks. Medicine and home care can help.

Average Hospital Stay

You may be able to go home in 4 to 5 days. If you have problems, you may need to stay longer.

Post-procedure Care

At the Hospital

After the procedure, the staff may:

  • Give you pain medicine
  • Teach you how to use a walker or wheelchair

During your stay, staff will take steps to lower your chance of infection, such as:

  • Washing their hands
  • Wearing gloves or masks
  • Keeping your incisions covered

You can also lower your chance of infection by:

  • Washing your hands often and reminding visitors and staff to do the same
  • Reminding staff to wear gloves or masks
  • Not letting others touch your incisions

At Home

It will take a few weeks for the incisions to heal. Full recovery can take 3-6 months. Physical activity will need to be limited at first. You will need to ask for help with daily activities and delay your return to work.

Call Your Doctor

Call your doctor if you are not getting better or you have:

  • Signs of infection, such as fever and chills
  • Redness, swelling, more pain, a lot of bleeding, or any leaking from the incision
  • Pain that you cannot control with medicine
  • Cough, shortness of breath, or chest pain
  • Severe nausea or vomiting
  • Numbness, tingling, or loss of feeling in your leg, knee, or foot

If you think you have an emergency, call for medical help right away.

RESOURCES:

American College of Rheumatology
http://www.rheumatology.org

The Arthritis Foundation
http://www.arthritis.org

CANADIAN RESOURCES:

The Arthritis Society
http://www.arthritis.ca

Health Canada
https://www.canada.ca

REFERENCES:

Dega osteotomy. Nemours, Alfred I DuPont Hospital for Children website. Available at: http://gait.aidi.udel.edu/procedures/dega_osteotomy.pdf. Accessed July 17, 2020.

Dempsey ME, Karmazyn BK, et al; American College of Radiology. ACR Appropriateness Criteria on developmental dysplasia of the hip--child. ACR 2013 PDF.

Developmental dysplasia of the hip. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at:https://www.dynamed.com/condition/developmental-dysplasia-of-the-hip. Updated February 22, 2017. Accessed July 17, 2020.

Femoral derotational osteotomy. Nemours, Alfred I DuPont Hospital for Children website. Available at: http://gait.aidi.udel.edu/procedures/femoral_osteotomy.pdf. Accessed July 17, 2020.

Last reviewed March 2020 by EBSCO Medical Review Board Warren A. Bodine, DO, CAQSM  Last Updated: 7/17/2020