Femoral Head/Neck Excision

Pre-Operative Information: Femoral Head and Neck Excision (FHNE) Price: Cat £1,100, Dog £1,400 (including VAT @ 20%)

The femur (thigh bone) forms a ball-and-socket attachment with the pelvis (hip bone). Femoral Head and Neck Excision (FHNE), also known as femoral head and neck ostectomy, is a hip surgery where the head and neck of the femur are cut off and permanently removed. There are many reasons why a pet might benefit from removal of the femoral head and neck including:

  • A dislocated hip (particularly in cats) / recurrent hip luxation
  • A broken femoral head and/or femoral neck
  • End-stage hip arthritis
  • Legg-Perthes disease (a developmental hip condition) FHNE surgery is one of a number of options for treating some or all of the above conditions.

Others include:

  • Hip Toggle. This is for treatment of hip luxation / dislocation. The dislocated hip is surgically replaced and held in position with a synthetic anchor.
  • Total Hip Replacement (THR). Like FHNE, THR is a salvage procedure for the treatment of all of the above conditions. The femoral head and the acetabulum (the hip socked) are removed and replaced with an artificial ball and socket. We are currently unable to offer this procedure at Oakhill, but are happy to discuss such cases and direct you to a Specialist who can help.
  • Pins/screws. These are used for treatment of fractures of the femoral neck.

When we remove the femoral head and neck, we essentially remove the ‘ball’ from the ‘ball and socket’. The result is that the flat cut top of the femur ‘glides’ against the pelvis bone, rather than articulate with it. This ‘gliding joint’ is similar to how the scapula (shoulder blade) attaches and moves against the thorax (rib cage) in the forelimbs of 4-legged animals. This pseudoarthrosis (or false joint) relies on muscular support, rather than bone-to-bone articulation and so does not require articular cartilage and joint fluid, found in a typical joint. Having removed the articular interface, the joint no longer suffers from bone-onbone rubbing, typical of many painful arthritic disease processes.

Whilst THR remains the ‘gold standard’ salvage procedure for many end-stage hip conditions, FHNE is an extremely cost-effective option for mid- to light-weight dogs and cats, providing an often pain free solution for owners with pets suffering from terribly morbid, debilitating hip complaints. Animals who have had FHNE surgery are required to maintain a lower weight to compensate for the loss of skeletal integrity, and typically have excellent functional outcomes with appropriate rehabilitation.

For more information or to discuss this surgery in more detail with one of our veterinary surgeons please contact us at the surgery on 015394 88555 or visit the referrals section of our website at www.oakhillvetgroup.co.uk

What is included?

At Oakhill Vets we strive to ensure our orthopaedic surgeries are ‘all inclusive’ and so INCLUDE the following:

  • Prehabilitation consultation in our state-of-the-art Animal Rehabilitation Centre (ARC)
  • Pre-anaesthetic blood screen
  • Hospitalisation (up to 24 hours)
  • Intravenous fluids during the anaesthetic and surgery
  • General Anaesthesia / Sedation
  • Surgery
  • Post-operative medication (for up to three weeks)
  • 24-hour post-operative laser / cold-pack treatment / physiotherapy
  • Week one post-operative rehabilitation consultation and rehabilitation plan (in the ARC)


What is not included?

Post-operative complications are not common, but are possible. While we endeavour to give you an upfront, all-inclusive estimate, when it comes to pets recovering from surgery there is unfortunately an element of unpredictability. Treatments not included because of unexpected complications include (but are not limited to):

  • Self-trauma by pet to surgical site
  • Post-operative wound infection

Note: While rehabilitation is important in the recovery from most, if not all, orthopaedic surgeries, we strongly encourage owners to enrol on a 12-week rehabilitation plan following FHNE, because of the reliance on effective muscle mass and range of motion following this surgery. See the Rehabilitation section of our Oakhill Referral Services for more details and bespoke post-operative packages.



The outcome of FHNE surgery is heavily reliant on a robust rehabilitation plan. We strongly advise rehabilitation in our Animal Rehabilitation Centre (ARC) following this surgery. We offer patients that have had surgery at Oakhill an amazing and heavily discounted 12-week post-operative rehabilitation package. Please see our ARC price list for details.


Payment Options

Payment is expected in full at the time of consultation or upon discharge from Oakhill Vets. If your pet is insured we would request that you pay for your their treatment and claim the funds back from your insurance company. Once you have settled the cost of any treatment we can help you complete your insurance claim form(s) at no additional charge. Direct claims may be arranged with some insurance companies and are subject to a check with our referral coordinators prior to your appointment. An administration fee is chargeable each time a direct claim is carried out by our referral coordinators. If you have any concerns about payment then please contact us prior to your consultation.


Why choose Oakhill Veterinary Referrals?

Oakhill Vets is based in Windermere in the beautiful Lake District. We are happy to take referrals from clients further afield. Let our friendly, highly skilled and experienced team of Veterinary Surgeons and Registered Veterinary Nurses look after your pet while you relax and enjoy a short break in The Lakes. For more details please phone the practice and speak to one of our helpful referral coordinators on 015394 88555.