In the field of small animal orthopedics, orthoses, prostheses and other assistive devices are an emerging technology that can aid in the well-being of our canine patients. These devices are used to either correct or accommodate the affected limb(s) following trauma or surgical intervention, and may be utilized as temporary or permanent modalities.
There are numerous studies indicating the positive benefits of rehabilitation therapy following CCL surgery. In summary, rehabilitation therapy has been shown to improve muscle mass and attenuate muscle atrophy that occurs in the post-operative period, increase stifle joint ROM, especially extension, improve weight-bearing as measured by force plate analysis, and reduce the progression of osteoarthritis.
Diagnosing and treating forelimb conditions in dogs can be very challenging. Many dogs present with a similar history including minimal responsive to rest and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and increased lameness following exercise and heavy activity.
Soft tissue injuries and osteoarthritis are common conditions afflicting active dogs due to the repetitive forces placed on the joints. Microtrauma to the tendons, ligaments, and the articular surfaces of joints can occur, creating an environment for osteoarthritic development.