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Periacetabular Osteotomy (PAO) FAQs

Periacetabular Osteotomy (PAO)


When can I walk after a PAO?

Partial weight-bearing and walking with crutches is allowed immediately after a PAO. We get all patients mobilising Day 1 after their operation on crutches.

When can I drive after a PAO?

You should not drive for at least 48 hours after an anaesthetic. After 48 hours, your ability to drive will depend on the side you had your operation, left or right, the type of vehicle you drive, manual or automatic and what type of pain relief you are taking. It is generally reasonable to drive when you are confident with walking and can fully weight-bear on your affected side. The usual recommendation is 4 weeks.

When can I return to work after a PAO?

Your return to work will vary depending on the type of work you are engaged in. Most people can return to office work within 2 weeks. More strenuous manual work, may require you to take 6-12 weeks before returning to full duties.

When can I play sports after a PAO?

Low impact activities, such as cycling and swimming, can be commenced from week 6. High impact activities, such as running, or excessive twisting such as during tennis or golf, are best avoided for 12 weeks after surgery.

How long will I take to heal after a PAO?

The wounds take 7-10 days to heal. Most patients improve dramatically in the first 6 weeks. Occasionally, there are periods where the hip may become sore and then settle again. This is part of the normal healing process. Continued improvements may be gained up to 1 year post-surgery.

How much pain will I experience after a PAO?

Most patients will have some discomfort after surgery. A local anaesthetic is injected around the wound during the procedure and a local anaesthetic catheter is placed in the wound after the procedure to minimise any pain you may experience.  We will carefully monitor your post-operative course and aim to keep you as comfortable as possible throughout.

To book an appointment please contact Dr Slattery’s rooms on
03 5752 5020 mobile
We aim to see all fractures within 24hrs