Why Veterinary Medicine is Uber Cool Part IV

Filed under: @ 7:34 pm

Last Wednesday I was doing some boning (heh, pardon the pun) up on a surgical procedure that I’ve not done fairly often. The procedure is called a femoral head osteotomy (FHO) and it involves amputating the femoral head, that part of the femur that, along with the pelvic acetabulum, forms the hip joint.
One does an FHO for a number of reason. In this case I was performing an FHO on a young Cocker Spaniel whose hip had been dislocated the previous week. An injury that old, heck a luxated hip more than a few hours old can’t be repaired except surgically. The point of this surgery is not to repair the joint because it is assumed that the joint is beyond repair. The point of the FHO surgery is to provide the animal a pain free life of mostly normal function. And weirdly, removing the femoral head in these situations does provide the animal with almost 100% normal function.
Anyway, I don’t do this type of surgery much. I think the one I did last Thursday was -maybe- the third that I’ve done. I spent as much of Wednesday as possible reading surgery books, consulting anatomy books, surgical atlases, and my online veterinary community’s database for tips, details, and horrors to watch out for.
In doing my online research I went to VIN’s searchable database and entered the term “femoral head osteotomy”. I got about 300 hits on that term and started to scan the discussions of this particular procedure that have been archived over VIN’s 15 year lifespan.
In that list were discussions about, and requests for tips on, doing an FHO on a goose, a hedgehog, a ferret, a parrot, and a great blue heron.
I love my profession. 😀

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