Femoral head ostectomy (FHO), also known as a Femoral Head and Neck Excision, is the surgical removal of the ball and neck portion of the hip joint. This procedure eliminates the bone-to-bone contact of the acetabulum or socket with the femur which can cause much pain, especially in arthritic joints. With the removal of the femoral head this hip joint develops a false fibrous joint over time.

Post-surgical femoral head ostectomyThe FHO procedure is indicated for the treatment of hip dysplasia, dislocated hips, non-repairable fractures of the femoral head, and some diseases of the hip (i.e. Legg Perthes). Legg Perthes is a congenital abnormality seen in some small breed dogs. In dogs with this disease the blood supply to the femoral head is compromised resulting in necrosis of the femoral head.

Cats and dogs weighing less than 40 pounds do very well with the FHO procedure. Function of the leg in larger dogs is harder to predict due to the limitations of the weight-bearing capability of the false fibrous joint. Dogs greater than 60 pounds have variable results and partly dependent upon the opposite hip. Recovery time for FHO’s is 2 – 4 months with return to full activity at 6 weeks.