A hip osteotomy is a surgical procedure in which the bones of the hip joint are cut, reoriented, and fixed in a new position. Healthy cartilage is placed in the weight-bearing area of the joint, followed by reconstruction of the joint in a more normal position.
To understand hip surgery, it is helpful to have a brief description of the structure of the human hip.
The femur, or thigh bone, is connected to the knee at its lower end and forms part of the hip joint at its upper end. The femur ends in a ball-shaped piece of bone called the femoral head. The short, slanted segment of the femur that lies between the femoral head and the long vertical femoral shaft is called the neck of the femur. In a normal hip, the femoral head fits snugly into a socket called the acetabulum.
The hip joint thus consists of two parts, the pelvic socket or acetabulum, and the femoral head.
The hip is susceptible to damage from a number of diseases and disorders, including arthritis, traumatic injury, avascular necrosis, cerebral palsy, or Legg-Calve-Perthes (LCP) disease in young patients.
The hip socket may be too shallow, too large, or too small, or the femoral head may lose its proper round contour. Problems related to the shape of the bones in the hip joint are usually referred to as hip dysplasia.
Hip replacement surgery is often the preferred treatment for disorders of the hip in older patients.
Adolescents and young adults, however, are rarely considered for this type of surgery due to their active lifestyle; they have few good options for alleviating their pain and improving joint function if they are stricken by a hip disorder.
Osteotomies are performed in these patients, using the patient’s own tissue in order to restore joint function in the hip and eliminate pain.
An osteotomy corrects a hip deformity by cutting and repositioning the bone, most commonly in patients with misalignment of certain joints or mild osteoarthritis.
The procedure is also useful for people with osteoarthritis in only one hip who are too young for a total joint replacement.