Prevention is the best option

Health tips for caring people who have had a pelvic osteotomy in hip dysplasia

Osteotomia pelviana a Vall d'Hebron

The specific health education on mobilisation in patients who have received traumatic surgery is essential in order to start rehabilitation as soon as possible and thus avoid possible complications as a result of the operation. This health education, focused on pelvic osteotomy, should be given before and after surgery.



What do you need to bear in mind if you need periacetabular osteotomy surgery?

In the months running up to the operation patients are advised to follow an iron-rich diet. In addition, three doses of intravenous iron will be administered and, in some cases, a dose of erythropoietin glycoprotein to stimulate the production of red blood cells.

So that patients are able to be independent, they will be taught to walk with no pressure (without putting weight on the operated leg) and with partial pressure (only putting weight on the tips of their toes) using crutches so that they can walk on their own.

After the operation, patients will have their blood pressure, heart rate and temperature monitored, and they will have a finger prick done to check for anaemia.

Where possible, younger patients will not be given blood transfusions. By correctly tolerating low haemoglobin levels, this patient group is able to more easily trigger the body’s physiological mechanisms without complications to try to compensate for the blood lost during surgery. For this reason it is very important to rigorously monitor vital signs.


Once in the hospital, the person and their family should be informed about the exercises to be performed:

  • Maintenance of the anti-rotation leg box, if required.
  • Internal rotation exercises.
  • Attempt to sit up on their own 24 hours after surgery.
  • Doing mobility exercises with a pillow between their legs for the patient’s comfort.
  • Training for the person’s family on how to carry out pumps, flexoextension, passive abduction and triple extension exercises so that they can help the patient.


Nursing staff and physiotherapists can teach the patient how to carry out deep breathing exercises, which:

  • Prevent blood pressure from dropping, and help to oxygenate because rest reduces oxygenation of tissues
  • Supply a large amount of oxygen to the lungs
  • Ventilate and clean the lungs
  • Activate the body’s relaxation response
  • Stimulate the heart
  • Promote bowel movements
  • Massage the organs

Patients will move about and walk in the following three stages, depending on x-ray exams:

  •  First four weeks: leaning on the tips of the toes so as not to lose balance
  •  Partial pressure: from four weeks on
  •  Total pressure: from six weeks on


Pain will be controlled using intravenous drugs for the first few days and, after that, oral medication. In order to alleviate pain, a cold compress will need to be applied on the area for twenty minutes three times a day.

To prevent thromboembolism, patients will be treated with subcutaneous heparin injections. The hospital admissions unit’s nursing staff will show them how to administer this.



  • Exercises must always be assisted (by a family member).
  • The patient will walk or move from their chair to the bed without putting their weight on the operated leg.
  • If the articular capsule has been operated on, the leg should not be rotated towards the exterior.


Other related health information

Health education for paediatric patients with hip dysplasia.

Related professionals
Dr. Francisco
Orthopaedic Surgery and Traumatology