FHO Surgery on Cats

FHO Surgery on Cats

FHO surgery can be an effective and reasonably priced surgical treatment option for feline hip problems. Today, our Sharpsburg veterinarians discuss cat hip anatomy, hip problems that may affect your cat, and FHO surgery and recovery.

How Hip Problems Occur in Cats

Hip problems in cats can be caused by a mixture of old age, injury, and genetic predisposition.

  • Hip fractures can't be repaired surgically either because of the health of the patient or the means of their owner.
  • Hip luxation or dislocation, often associated with serious dysplasia is commonly treated with FHO surgery. 
  • Another condition that can affect your cat's hips is Legg-Perthes disease. This condition is distinguished by a lack of blood flow to the top of the femur, which results in spontaneous degeneration of the femoral head, resulting in arthritis and/or hip damage.
These relatively common conditions can cause mobility issues and pain for your cat. To correct the issue, orthopedic surgery may be recommended.

How Your Cat's Hip Joints Work

Your cat's hip joint works similarly to a ball and socket mechanism. The ball sits on the end of the thigh bone, or femur, and rests inside your cat's hip bone's acetabulum (the socket).

The normal hip function involves the ball and socket working together to allow for easy and pain-free movement. When an injury or disease disrupts or breaks down your cat's normal hip function, rubbing and grinding between the two parts can cause pain and other mobility issues. Inflammation caused by a faulty or damaged hip joint can also impair your feline pal's mobility and quality of life.

This procedure is commonly recommended for cats, particularly those who are in good physical condition. The muscle mass around active cats' joints can help them recover faster. Any cat in good health, on the other hand, can have FHO surgery to relieve hip pain.

Signs & Symptoms of Hip Pain in Cats

Your kitty companion may be suffering from a hip problem if they show one or more of the following symptoms:

  • Muscle loss around their back limbs
  • Increased stiffness and reduced range of motion
  • Irritability
  • Difficulty jumping
  • Limping when walking

Cat FHO Surgery

Your vet will remove the femoral head during your cat's FHO surgery, leaving the socket of your cat's hip empty. The muscles in your cat's legs will initially hold the femur in place, and scar tissue will form between the acetabulum and femur. A "false joint" will form over time, and scar tissue will form a cushion between your cat's bones.

The Cost of FHO Surgery

FHO surgery is a relatively inexpensive procedure that can frequently help your cat regain pain-free mobility. The cost of your cat's surgery will be determined by a variety of factors, so you should consult your veterinarian for an estimate.

How Will Your Cat Recover from FHO Surgery

Each cat is different. After FHO surgery, they may need to stay at a vet hospital for anywhere from a few hours to a few days for post-surgical care. The length of their stay will depend on their health as well as a few other factors. 

Phase 1

In the days following surgery, you and your veterinarian will focus on pain management with medications such as prescription nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.

Your cat's activity will need to be restricted by either crating them or confining them to a small room where they can't jump or run.

If your pet is not in too much pain, your veterinarian may suggest a passive range of motion exercises to encourage your cat's hip joint to move through its natural range of motion again.

Phase 2

The second recovery phase, which begins about one week after surgery, entails gradually increasing your cat's physical activity to begin strengthening their joint.

This keeps the scar tissue from stiffening up and improves your cat's long-term mobility. Your veterinarian will advise you on the best exercises for your cat.

Most cats recover completely within 6 weeks of surgery. If your cat hasn't fully recovered by this point, he or she may need physical therapy or rehabilitation to ensure a full recovery.

Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.

Is your feline companion suffering from a painful hip condition? Contact our Sharpsburg vets today to book an examination for your cat.