Tuesday, 26 February 2013


Reading week is over and I would like to write about the surgery I had during the break. It does not directly involve the PA program but having surgery as a PA student will affect my experience in the program.

Periacetabular Osteotomy (PAO)

Fig 1: Normal Hip, Fig 2 Hip with Dysplasia (not my x-ray)

When I first injured myself playing basketball in grade 9 the doctors determined that I had congenital hip dysplasia on my left hip. A dysplastic hip has abnormal coverage over the femur head. Therefore creating constant pain. I continued playing basketball and danced throughout university.  In my 4th year of university I heard a "pop" while dancing and was told that I should stop any high impact activity. The prognosis was within 5 years I would have an arthritic hip. I was referred to a surgeon in Winnipeg and through X-rays it was determined that I also had a severely torn labrum. He recommended PAO but because the surgery is relatively new, only a few doctors in Canada are trained to do the procedure.  Therefore I was then sent to London University Health Hospital in London, Ontario to see Dr. Naudie.

“The surgery involves cutting the pelvis around the hip joint and shifting it into a better position to support the stresses of walking. After the hip is re-positioned, it is held in place with screws until the bone heals. After the bone heals, the screws can be removed, but this is not usually necessary.” http://www.hipdysplasia.org/adult-hip-dysplasia/adult-treatments/hip-preservation-surgery-for-adult-hip-dysplasia/

Hip after PAO (not mine)

What I’ve learned

I’ve learned a lot about patient care and the different roles of the health care professions. I was visited by an occupational therapist, nurse practitioner, anesthesiologist and physiotherapist. I came to appreciate the importance and hard work nurses do for patient comfort and care. I was able to understand the thought processes the doctors would make during my recovery as well as understood the reason behind the different prescribed drugs. This experience strengthened by desire to be a PA and gave me a great overall picture of what patient care and medicine is. 

How I’m doing 

Today is one of my best days mentally. I’ve tried studying in the hospital but I would easily tire from reading the exam material. I felt less pain 2 days post-op then before surgery. I didn’t realize how much pain I lived with until now. 2 days post-op I was walking on crutches, 3 days post-op I was able to walk on stairs and take a shower on my own. 4th day after surgery I flew back to Winnipeg. (I think what helped me recover quickly was losing weight, weight and strength training and good balance from dance and hot yoga :) 

Restrictions: 50% weight baring on my left side and I cannot bend less then 90 degrees from my hip for 6 weeks.  

Upcoming Exams 

I intend to return to school if not tomorrow on Thursday to write my Psychiatry exam. Hopefully I’ll be able to get back to work :)


  1. I will also getting the PAO surgery with Dr. Naudie... I stumbled accross this post and would love to hear more about your experience...

  2. I'd be happy to! Send me your e-mail and I'll get back to you when I have the chance :)

  3. Great! My email is angelelanctot@hotmail.com
    I look forward to hearing from you!

  4. Angele and Pearl.4, How long was it after your first visit with Dr. Naudie until you had a surgery date? I've been referred and my former specialist diagnosed me but doesn't do the surgery. My first app't w/ Dr. Naudie is next month. Thanks for your help! Christine

  5. Hi Christine,

    During my first appointment with Dr.Naudie he recommended for me to do it as soon as possible. Since I was in school I didn't have much options in dates and they tried to accommodate my schedule. For me it was about 2 months after the consultation.