Remember that song we all sang in elementary school to help us learn about the body? “The ankle bone’s connected to the… leg bone! The leg bone’s connected to the… hip bone!”
Well, when we got older, we learned that the hip joint is made up of a ball and socket joint. An FHO procedure removes the ball part of the joint and shaves down the neck of the femur to eliminate bone-on-bone contact.
Because Huck’s hips were totally shattered, the surgeon had to navigate existing scar tissue to scoop out the broken bone fragments. She then arranged some muscle to keep everything together. There is no implant in his hip, and he will not need a hip replacement when he gets older. (Hurray!)
The vet encouraged the use of his leg as soon as possible to build up scar tissue to fill out the false joint. When it comes to orthopedic surgeries for your pet, I’m told this is the easiest one to help your furry friend recover from since they actually NEED to move for it to be successful.
Because dogs don’t bear their full weight on top of their hips like people do, recovery is pretty quick, making this surgery is a great option for dogs with hip dysplasia or arthritis.
I’ve read and heard that this is a “salvage” surgery, often a last ditch effort to help an animal. But with such a large success rate and easy recovery, I’d call it a “back-to-new” surgery.