Stella’s FHO Surgery


We’ve had many questions about what kind of hip surgery sweet Stella had yesterday, so I thought I’d post some information here so that you all could learn about FHO surgery, too!

Stella’s Story: Stella came into rescue emaciated, heartworm positive, and with a shattered hip and broken front leg (that had healed improperly). After the fact we found out that she had likely been hit by a car and actually had bird shot pellets lodged throughout her body. Yikes!

Before Stella could begin heartworm treatment, she had to put on some serious weight (20 lbs!). Once healthy enough, Stella went through rapid heartworm treatment but when retested 3 months after her final treatment – she was still light heartworm positive. Ugh. Luckily our vets recommended continuing her on monthly heartworm preventative to clear up any remaining worms rather than to put her through an additional imiticide injection.

Stella’s next surgery was her spay! And then a few weeks later, her FHO surgery.

What is FHO? FHO stands for fermoral head ostectomy. We’d never heard of it before it was offered as an option to treat Stella, but have learned a great deal about FHO surgeries in recent months. FHO surgery is also commonly done on dogs with hip dysplasia.

Why FHO? When looking at ways to repair Stella’s shattered hip our options were FHO or a total hip replacement. It is our understanding that of the two, the FHO is a much easier surgery on the dog and appears to have excellent outcome in a dog of Stella’s age and weight category. It is also significantly cheaper than a total hip replacement, which is often a factor in rescue.

How does it work? The short description of FHO is that this surgery works because the femoral head and neck are removed from the femur. This removal allows the fibrous tissue to grow in place of the femoral head form a “fake” joint where the femoral head formed a joint before.

Expected Recovery: The great news is that Stella could be back to using her rear hip/leg as soon as the next few days. We fill thankful that she should make a full recovery and be zooming around the yard again soon!

(Stella getting love from Courtney at the clinic Tuesday evening)

More articles regarding FHO below:


To see Stella’s “battle scar” scroll down









One Response to “Stella’s FHO Surgery”

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