Prevention of nerve injury after periacetabular osteotomy hip

Rafael J. Sierra, Paul Beaule, Ira Zaltz, Michael B. Millis, John C. Clohisy, Robert T. Trousdale

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


Background: The Bernese periacetabular osteotomy (PAO) is the preferred pelvic osteotomy in many centers treating symptomatic acetabular dysplasia in the young adult. Major nerve injury has been reported as a complication that can occur with this complex procedure, but the incidence and circumstances associated with such injury are not well known. Questions/Purposes: We asked: (1) What is the incidence of sciatic and femoral nerve injury after PAO; (2) what are the risk factors associated with such injury; and (3) what are the consequences of such injury including the degree of neurologic recovery? Patients and Methods: We identified 1760 PAOs that were performed between 1991 and 2008 at five institutions. A major nerve injury was defined as a postoperative motor nerve palsy or sensory deficit present after surgery in the distribution of the femoral or sciatic nerves. Risk factors associated with nerve injury and the treatment and degree of neurologic recovery were reviewed from medical records. Results: Thirty-six of the 1760 patients (2.1%) had a major nerve deficit of the sciatic or femoral nerve develop. We identified no patient or surgical risk factor associated with the occurrence of nerve injury. Seventeen of the 36 patients had complete recovery. The median time to recovery or plateau was 5.5 months (range, 2 days to 24 months). Conclusions: The incidence of sciatic and femoral nerve injury during PAO is less than previously reported. Full recovery can be expected in only 1/2 of the patients and more commonly with injuries of the femoral nerve. If direct nerve injury is suspected, we believe exploration may be warranted.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2209-2219
Number of pages11
JournalClinical orthopaedics and related research
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2012

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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