Dog Hip Surgery


The hip includes a ball-and-socket joint. The ball (a.k.a. femoral head) is the top part of the thigh or thigh bone. The narrow portion just listed below the ball is called the neck. The socket (or acetabulum) is the concave part on each side of the pelvis.

Dog Hip Surgery

A normal hip joint is kept in location by muscles, a deep socket and strong ligaments. A number of conditions of the hip can be fixed by a surgical procedure called a Femoral Head Ostectomy, or FHO.

Which conditions of the hip can be corrected by an FHO?

Hip Dysplasia — Hip dysplasia is caused by irregular growth of the hip during puppyhood. Poor genes is frequently the main reason. The abnormal development results in looseness of the joint and arthritis develops, triggering hip pain. This is can take place in dogs of any age, depending upon how much they can manage the signs. Signs can consist of:

  • Reluctance to play
  • Stiffness
  • “Bunny hopping”
  • Hopping
  • Weak muscles in the back legs

Dislocation — Dislocation (or luxation) of a joint happens after injury. In the hip, the ball comes out of the socket. When the hip can not or need to not be positioned back in its normal position, an FHO can be carried out.

Fractures — Hip fractures can be severe adequate that they can not be fixed correctly. The FHO may then be the surgery of choice.

Legg-Calvé-Perthes disease — Legg-Calvé-Perthes disease causes the femoral head (the ball of the hip joint) to spontaneously break down. The condition happens when the blood supply to the head of the femur is unsuitable, triggering the bone to soften. The weakened bone will fracture, ultimately collapsing the joint and leading to a painful condition.

What are the signs of hip pain?

Signs that your dog may have hip pain are similar to those mentioned above. Reduced tolerance to workout, stiffness, hopping, or bunny hopping are a few of the most obvious signs. Your dog must be seen by your vet or a surgeon if you see any of these signs.

An alternative treatment to some of the conditions above may be an overall hip replacement. Although much costlier and more invasive, this alternative ought to be discussed with your vet or cosmetic surgeon, particularly in large and giant breed dogs.

What is done during the FHO surgery?

The FHO surgery consists of eliminating the ball of the hip. The ligament around the hip is then sewn up. During recovery, which usually takes two months, scar tissue will form in the joint to prevent rubbing of bone on bone. A “false joint” is then formed, which is pain free. The surrounding muscles also hold the hip in location.

After surgery, dogs are recommended pain medications and antibiotics. Activity is extremely restricted during the preliminary recovery duration, and a strict physical therapy program is suggested. This is extremely important to ensure a great range of movement in the impacted hip. Most dogs will start using the surgery leg within two weeks.

Your veterinarian or surgeon ought to be alerted if your dog is not utilizing the limb after two to three weeks. Poor leg use and bad series of motion are classically due to less than appropriate rehabilitation therapy. If you can not do it yourself, you must look for the assistance of an expert doggy physiotherapist (rehab professional). When both hips are affected, one surgery at a time is preferred, generally 2 months apart.

Prognosis is normally great following FHO surgery, offered that appropriate physical therapy has been carried out. Many small dogs do effectively following surgery. Big dogs likewise succeed, but because of their increased weight, they may display weakness or tightness in the afflicted leg. This is due to the fact that the muscles around the hip and scar tissue are now supporting the dog’s weight rather of a real joint. The heavier the dog, the harder it is to predict the outcome. On the opposite end, the lighter the dog, the better they do after FHO surgery.

Also read: Muscle Tear in Dogs


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