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It is not clear whether a Chiari pelvic osteotomy performed for the treatment of advanced osteoarthritis can delay the need for total hip arthroplasty. We present the mid-term results of the Chiari pelvic osteotomy performed for the treatment of Tönnis grade-3 osteoarthritis (large cysts, severe narrowing of the joint space, or severe deformity or necrosis of the head with extensive osteophyte formation), with a particular focus on whether this procedure can delay the need for total hip arthroplasty.


We followed thirty-two hips in thirty-one patients with Tönnis grade-3 osteoarthritis who had refused total hip arthroplasty and had been treated with a Chiari pelvic osteotomy. The mean age at the time of surgery was 35.2 years. The mean duration of follow-up was 11.2 years, at which time clinical evaluation with the Harris hip score and radiographic evaluation were performed.


The average Harris hip score improved from 52 points preoperatively to 77 points at the time of follow-up; the average pain score improved from 20 to 31 points. Three hips with a hip score of <70 points required total hip arthroplasty. With a hip score of <70 points as the end point, the cumulative rate of survival at ten years was 72%. The clinical outcome was significantly influenced by the preoperative center-edge angle (p = 0.004), the preoperative acetabular head index (p = 0.039), achievement of the appropriate osteotomy level (p = 0.011), and superior migration (p = 0.009) and lateral migration (p = 0.026) of the femoral head.


Although the clinical results were inferior to those of total hip arthroplasty, Chiari pelvic osteotomy may be an option for young patients with advanced osteoarthritis who prefer a joint-conserving procedure to total hip arthroplasty and accept a clinical outcome that is predicted to be less optimal than that of total hip arthroplasty. Moderate dysplasia and moderate subluxation without complete obliteration of the joint space and a preoperative center-edge angle of at least −10° are desirable selection criteria.

Level of Evidence

Therapeutic study, Level IV (case series [no, or historical, control group]). See Instructions to Authors for a complete description of levels of evidence.

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