Femoral head osteotomy

What is Femoral head osteotomy?

FHO is a surgical procedure that entails removing the  ball and neck of the femur  at the level of the hip joint and relies on scar tissue development. The FHO  is a salvage procedure that is most commonly performed because it is less expensive (no hardware) and has less serious complications compared to total hip replacement (THR) and triple pelvic osteotomy (TPO).

What are the indications for FHO?

The  most common indication for  the FHO is canine hip dysplasia (arthritis), neck and  hip fractures

Do large breed dogs benefit from FHO?

 Historically, the FHO surgery was performed only on smaller dogs, less than 30 pounds and it is was not recommended for larger patients. Now days, the procedure is performed in over 100 pounds patients with excellent results. The success of the surgery is dictated by the precise execution of the procedure and experience of the surgeon (board certified surgeon only)  

When does my dog need surgery ?

Hip surgery is performed when conservative measures (weight loss, rest and medical management ) have failed, and the patient’s activity is declining. By declining, I refer to the development of  bone spurs around the hip joint that debilitate your dog’s activity

What are the expectations with FHO

The prognosis for FHO surgery is good with patient returning to full limb function after 2 to 4 months. The patient might develop gait abnormality post surgery, which is not indicative of pain or discomfort. To ensure success of the FHO surgery,  physical therapy must be performed   immediately post op for the duration of the recovery. 

Why is physical therapy important during the recovery from FHO surgery?

The healing from FHO surgery relies on the build up of scar tissue, which can be beneficial (no nerve endings) and detrimental (lock joint) at the same time.  Physical therapy stretches the collagen fiber (scar) and improves the  full range of motion of the hip joint

What are the complications from FHO

The most common complication of FHO surgery is the formation of too much scar tissue that  will negatively impact the new joint’s range of motion.