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Hip Surgery

My husband and I have some questions for the group about hip surgery (actually femoral osteotomy). Our 3-year old daughter, Allison, has bilateral PFFD. She has a short femur in her left leg (Paley Type 1b) and no femur or hip socket in her right leg, so her right foot falls slightly below the level of her left knee. She wears a prosthesis with a hinged joint on her right leg, and she walks pretty well.

Allison has never had any surgery, but her doctor recently recommended a valgus osteotomy to correct the coxa vara in her left femur (her better leg) and to derotate. We'd like to get some feedback from others who have had experience with this surgery. Allison is not a candidate for lengthening, so the purpose of the osteotomy is entirely to improve her walking ability (i.e., not in preparation for lengthening).

Any information is welcome. Thanks in advance! Cheryl and Rick McElroy


Being a stable walker is important to avoid falls and injuries, but ask your doctor (if you have not already) about the long term. Will the procedure need to be redone at a certain age? What about aging and bone density loss? Any affects on childbirth options? Will the surgery cause any significant tissue damage or long-term pain. Will it prevent future pain? Will range-of-motion be affected?

Mine is a cautionary tell of letting doctor's make the choices. I am impressed that you are taking your time and researching your options. I personally went through 22 plus surgeries before age 22 when I said,” I’m done." My last set of surgeries never healed so since the age of 16, I cannot use my prosthesis and utilize crutches or a wheelchair for mobility. Childbirth and aging has really had a major impact on my hip and pain levels. My parents, at doctor's advice, selected amputation of my foot when I was 7, scraped the growth plates when I was 8, removed the knee when I was 10 and had several stabilizing surgeries. Surgeons rotated the femur to the left and then the right, and adjusted the midline so many times I would have to "find" my own leg after surgery (it was never where I last knew it to be). In the end, my hip was simply not strong enough for the wear and tear of walking with a prosthesis. Were these surgeries best for me? I have no idea. But I do know I felt like a guinea pig, not a patient.