9 FAQ About The A-TraC Brace

Dino with A-TraC Dyanmic Brace - cruciate ligament tear

1. Is your brace recommended more as an alternative to surgery or for post-surgical use?

Answer: Our brace is used primarily as an alternative to surgery but can also be used post-surgically.

2. Is the Withers measurement accurate enough or should I get the Tibia measurement?

Answer: We actually prefer the Withers measurement due to the common inaccuracy of the x-rays or the reading of the x-rays. However, an x-ray of the Stifle or (knee joint) is still necessary to rule out any other problems that may exist.

3. How much room for error is in the measurements and how adjustable is it?

Answer: There is some room for error, but that would depend on how close your measurements are to the low size of the brace or the high side of the brace. The brace is adjustable within the size range for that brace.

4. What is the benefit of the soft brace with a harness such as ours vs. the hard braces?

Answer: If the soft brace is biomechanically correct as ours is, the soft brace is much more comfortable for the dog. The harness adds more support for the Brace. Our Delrin Rods offer stability at the Stifle or knee joint and also more control if the brace moves up or down.

5. Can the ACL actually heal with our brace?

Answer: Yes, it can heal the same way an ankle does after a sprain (tear) of the ankle ligaments. This is done by forming scar tissue between the two ends of the torn ligament. We use our Brace to stabilize the knee from abnormal movement, created by ACL or CCL tears, at the stifle or knee joint until scar tissue develops.

6. What if the Brace does not fit?

Answer: There is always a chance the Brace will not fit, but this is seldom the case unless measurements are not correct. If you are not sure that the Brace fits, call us first so we can make sure the Brace is properly applied.

7. How long do they need to wear the brace?

Answer: The average time frame is from 10 to 12 weeks of continuous use. This can vary based on the owner keeping the proper activity levels and following our Clinical Protocol. It can also depend on the severity of the tear as well as the dog’s adaptability to wearing the Brace. At the 10 to 12 week continuous wear period, if the dog is doing well with walking, then the brace can be removed to see how the dog does walking just on a leash. This would be for a period of one week. If after that period they are doing well, then they can wear the brace only when they will be more active. This should continue for
maybe 1 to 4 more weeks.

8. Can they sleep in the Brace?

Answer: We would prefer the dog to sleep in the Brace however all dogs are different, with many tolerating this and others not. The key is not to allow any sudden excessive movements when the Brace is on or off. This can be done by crating or tying a leash to some heavy object. If they have any tendency to chew or bite on the brace then a Cervical Collar is required to prevent damage to the Brace. We prefer the blow up Cervical Collar if you can find it, but any will do.

9. My dog has long fur is that a problem?

Answer: Yes this can be a problem. The fur can bunch up in the brace when you put it on, causing uneven brace contact with the leg. Also the fur can interfere with the Velcro attachments, to diminish the hold of the Velcro Straps over time. We suggest clipping of both legs to about ½” of hair from the dogs butt down. This will permit longer and more effective use.

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