The use of orthoses (braces) and prostheses for injured animals is becoming increasingly common.
Orthoses are any medical device attached to the body to support, align, position, immobilize, prevent or correct deformity, assist weak muscles, or improve function.
Prostheses are medical devices as well and are used to compensate for a missing or amputated leg segment. It is no longer necessary to amputate an entire leg when only the lower part is injured. Instead a partial amputation called an elective level subtotal amputation is possible in many cases.
A veterinarian must prescribe an orthosis or prosthesis after a thorough evaluation including muscle, skeleton, and nerve assessment as well as gait analysis. Once a prescription has been made the device is manufactured by a fabrication lab specializing in veterinary orthotics and prosthetics (V-OP). Fit and function are critical to meet the goal of getting an animal back on all fours. Guidance by a V-OP specialist can ensure that the veterinary patient can take the next step safely and comfortably.
The Tamarack Flexure Joint is a durable and waterproof thermoformable ankle joint (“hinge”) used in human orthotic braces since 1995.
With the emergence of animal bracing options, Tamarack Flexure Joints are preferred in many animal applications due to their ease of fabrication and lasting durability. Additionally, these joints are preferred for their ability to withstand affinity for rain, lakes/rivers, and snowbanks without harming the effectiveness of the joints.
In addition to the standard line of Tamarack Flexure Joints used in human bracing applications, Tamarack also offers a lower durometer, veterinary-specific joint for animal bracing; both commonly used in veterinary braces and prosthetic limbs around the world.
Orthotic devices are wearables used for support and rehabilitation of injured body parts. They can be used for a wide range of debilitating conditions, from simple limb immobilization to full-body instability.
In order for these devices to be effective, they often need to be custom-designed. And that’s one of their major drawbacks. They can be extremely time-consuming to manufacture. Traditionally made orthotics often require frequent fitting sessions, which can lead to several months of waiting before the user equips the final piece.
Thanks to its affordability and ease of use, 3D printing has simplified the entire fitting and customization process. 3D scanning and modeling significantly reduce the amount of time required to produce and deliver orthotics to patients.
Just get in touch with us and ask us for a quote for your own animal prosthetics!