Sophie was diagnosed with an intertarsal subluxation in July 2016. The owners declined surgery and instead pursued an orthosis. The goal of her orthosis was to provide support and stability to her tarsus as well to avoid surgery. Special considerations needed to be taken with her thin hair coat and delicate skin.
Due to the nature of the subluxation, Sophie required a non-articulating tarsal device with an articulating paw segment. By not allowing motion to persist at the tarsus, the orthosis is able to appropriately restrict undesirable movement of the intertarsal subluxation. While the paw segment was articulating, the goal was offer functional ROM of her SDF and DDF enabling pathofunctional biomechanics of the paw. Her metatarsophalangeal joint range of motion was limited due to the intertarsal subluxation so the paw was articulated to accommodate external wedges that would allow the prescribing veterinarian to adjust the paw’s angle as the patient restored normal ROM. Allowing excessive motion of the paw segment other than to adjust the paw angle can put additional forces on the subluxation. Rather than the standard foam liner, Sophie received a removable prosthetic liner that included her crus and pez (tibia/fibula, tarsus and metatarsals). This style of liner allowed forces to be distributed evenly throughout the affected limb providing additional protection to her skin.
Sophie has had her orthosis for a year and a half. Her owners report she is doing wonderfully and are grateful that she is comfortable and back to her old self. Great job, Sophie!