What is Femoral Head Osteotomy (FHO) Surgery?
In many cases, the goal of the FHO procedure is to relieve pain associated with hip dysplasia, rather than create a joint with completely normal function. Therefore, while there are no specific weight guidelines for the use of an FHO, smaller dogs typically have a better outcome since less stress and force are carried on the false joint than would be in a large breed dog. That being said, this procedure may be indicated in large and giant-breed dogs in which other treatments have been ineffective or are not feasible, and can dramatically improve the quality of life in dogs with painful arthritic hips. Additionally, the best results are usually attained when done after the animal is skeletally mature and has finished growing.
FHO surgery will relieve the pain that is caused by hip dysplasia, and you may notice that your dog seems to feel better rather quickly. But it is important to note that following FHO surgery, your dog may always have some degree of lameness, even when proper rehabilitation is done. This does not mean the surgery has failed but is due to the fact that your dog is no longer working with a correctly formed joint, but rather with a false joint and a slightly shortened leg, and so the dynamics of the hip have completely changed. Although some degree of lameness may still be present, it will most likely be a huge improvement over the dog’s gait prior to the surgery.