Orthotics (braces) and prosthetics for our pets are more and more common place today than ever before. They are available to certain patients under certain circumstances and physical indications.
A common use is to stabilize injured joints for which surgical intervention is not possible.
Orthotics are appropriate in cases where there is a deficit in ligament function, arthritic issues, orthopedic and deformity issues, and in some cases neurological deficits. For a patient that cannot have surgery, it can mean the difference between a dog that can maintain a healthy lifestyle and one that ages prematurely due to pain and inactivity.
Common injuries that benefit from a brace
- Hyperextension or Hyperflexion of the Carpus (wrist )or Tarsus (ankle)
- Ligament tear such as the cranial cruciate ligament (ACL) to stabilize the stifle (knee)
- Subluxation (dislocation)
- Hip or elbow dysplasia
Your veterinarian can arrange and/or perform the initial steps of custom fabrication of such a supportive brace for your pet.
Written by Dr. Alex Hare