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Frequently Asked Questions

What Is a Femoral Head & Neck Osteotomy (FHO) Surgery?

Think about the body of your pet. The hip is a ball and socket joint, with the femoral head (the upper part of the leg) being the ball and the acetabulum (a portion of the pelvis) comprising the socket. Femoral head and neck osteotomy (FHO) is a surgical procedure in which the ball portion and the attachment (neck) portion are removed from the rest of the femur, which in essence removes the hip joint.

The body forms a “new hip” in the months following surgery. But unlike the normal contact of bone and cartilage, the new hip is a collection of scar tissue with additional support from the surrounding muscles and joint capsule.

FHO is a surgical treatment for hip disorders such as a fractured hip, hip dysplasia, hip luxation, and Legg-Calve-Perthes disease in small dogs (less than 50 pounds) and cats.

What Is the Post-Operative Care?

In contrast to many other orthopedic surgeries, early use of the leg after surgery is important to allow for the best possible outcome. In many pets, this will require owners to perform physical therapy, utilizing techniques such as range of motion exercises and swimming at the beach. Physical therapy is started as soon as pets will allow, usually after suture removal, seven to 10 days post-surgery.

Are Pets Able to Walk Normally on the Leg After Surgery?

Femoral head and neck ostectomy (FHO) is an excellent treatment to eliminate hip pain. However, because the natural hip is gone, the leg may not be as strong as a normal leg. This decrease in strength is difficult or impossible to notice in cats and small dogs but it may be more obvious in large- and giant-breed dogs. Small dogs and cats usually have an excellent outcome after FHO, whereas larger breeds will keep a distinct gait difference.

Schedule an Appointment Today at Lakeshore Veterinary Hospital in Mandeville

FHO Surgery is scary enough if they were for you. It can be even more scary for you if your pet needs it. Call us today at (985) 626-5615 or more information and options. We want to help you make the decision with all the information possible so it’s less scary.

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