FHO surgery in dogs is a surgical procedure that involves removing the head and neck parts of the femur, the large bone in the dog’s hip joints. FHO stands for femoral head osteotomy and it is one of many surgical procedures that may be prescribed for dogs with various problems in their hips including hip dysplasia, arthritis, and trauma among many other conditions. FHO may also be referred to as hip ostectomy or hip arthroplasty and the main feature of this type of surgery is that the femoral head and neck parts are removed and scar tissue that forms thereafter will be the part that holds the hip joint firm and steady.
In the case of hip dysplasia, the femoral head in the dog’s hips is rough and degraded. This condition may be secondary to a genetic abnormality while some dogs may get hip dysplasia if they also have osteoarthritis. When there is degeneration of the hip joint, much of the femoral head will be affected making it rough and patchy. With this kind of femoral head, severe pain will result as the dog will move around. With femoral heads that are not smooth as in hip dysplasia and osteoarthritis, there will be constant grinding of the head as it moves in the hip socket. Too much grinding will simply result to constant and severe pain with contribution to the ongoing damage in the hip joint. In this type of case, surgery may the only option to get rid of the pain and help the dog get moving again. One good surgery is FHO and it is great help for dogs to relieve the pain totally and get them moving to near normal.
The only concern with FHO surgery is that it will not restore full range of motion in the dog’s hip joint. This is due to the fact that the actual femoral head and neck are removed and only the scar tissue binds the legs with the hip socket. With proper physical therapy after surgery, dogs may regain much of their movement without experiencing any pain. Aside from dogs, FHO surgery may also be performed on cats.