OrthoPets started in 2003 as a hobby in the garage of our founder, Martin Kaufmann. OrthoPets now works on an average of 175 patients per month from all over the world. To date, we have worked on over 12,000 pets from 35 different countries! Being the founders and leaders in V-OP (Veterinary Orthotics & Prosthetics) industry, we choose to not only set the bar for patient care through our innovative biomechanical solutions, but we continue to push the bar higher to achieve the best outcomes for our patients.
One of the most common injuries we support with the use of our carpal orthosis solution is carpal hyperextension. Typically, these cases present to OrthoPets as acute injury of the palmar fibrocartilage from jumping injuries. However, we do receive cases that are chronic in origin or compensatory if the contralateral limb has been amputated. In these cases, the origin and history of injury may dictate the therapeutic goals of the device.
The therapeutic goals will not only dictate the design of the device but also wearing schedule and future use. In all carpal hyperextension cases, the devices are fabricated to prevent the carpus from being able to extend, therefore providing a comfortable and stable environment for the affected ligament structures. If a “curative outcome” is being pursued, the device in conjunction with pain management and rehabilitation can create an optimal environment for the body to start the healing process without disruption.
It is common for splints to be applied in practice to support carpal hyperextension. Although the goal to support the limb in a non-extended position may be the same, the use of a custom orthosis has many benefits that a splint cannot provide. The use of an orthosis allows OrthoPets and the prescribing veterinarian to utilize our dynamic support system call “arthrodesis on demand.” This means the orthosis can allow unaffected joints free range of motion while locking out or restricting motions acting on the affected joint. A static cast does not give you the ability to gain a mechanical advantage without immobilizing unaffected anatomical joints.
For instance, when OrthoPets is presented with a carpal hyperextension injury, we can allow the carpus to retain carpal flexion while creating an artificial carpal hyperextension stop. Through this advanced biomechanical support system, the orthosis allows a healthy range of motion for the carpus joint and blocks the abnormal range of motion. OrthoPets can also allow the paw to articulate in a normal weight bearing standing position. A traditional cast retains the paw in an abnormal, palmerflexed position. This causes an extreme limb length addition and also alters the ground reaction force vector. In addition, an orthosis can be removed to allow air flow to the limb and any skin concerns can be noticed and addressed immediately rather than at cast removal.
All materials used at OrthoPets are the same medical grade materials used in the human field of orthotics and prosthetics. These medical grade materials are used with specific intentions and are the best available material in the industry. Our plastics are light weight and durable. The foams we use to line the devices are “closed cell” and therefore waterproof, allowing our patients to not only enjoy water play but also continue to be supported during hydrotherapy if needed. Our foam has color changing properties that allows for the identification any areas of repeated pressure or friction. This creates an easy visual method for owners and veterinarians to quickly identify areas of skin concern before it becomes an actual sore. Our foam is also designed to conform to each individual patient’s topographical shape ensuring their device fits intimately and with increased comfort.