Windsor – Congenital Radial Hypoplasia of R Forelimb
Meet Windsor, our January 2019 Pet of the Month. We initially met Windsor in May 2018 when he was 3 months old, for assessment of rehabilitation and orthotic care options to help with his unique congenital problem. Windsor had not been using his right front leg normally and had already seen an orthopedic specialist in April. He was diagnosed with right radial and carpal hypoplasia with carpal varus malformation. This diagnosis basically means that his radius (the weight bearing bone below the elbow) was underdeveloped and so were his carpal (wrist) bones. As a result, he held up his paw most of the time because his wrist would bend awkwardly when he placed weight on the limb. Unfortunately, in many cases, puppies with these types of congenital issues end up having the limb amputated, but there are so many amazing new options available and his mom wanted to see if something other than amputation would work for Windsor. Use of a padded bandage was started to see if he would use the leg if the wrist was supported and this did help quite a bit. However, a growing puppy needs lots of bandage changes to maintain this lifestyle, so additional options were discussed.
Since his response to a padded bandage was positive, our goal was to work towards developing a custom orthosis once he was near full adult size. We started working with Windsor to teach him basic exercises that would help him later with his transition to his orthosis. We also had a custom soft brace made to help support his paw as he grew, so that we could stop using the padded bandages. Once Windsor was 8 months old, he was casted for his custom right carpal-paw orthotic device.
He took to his orthosis quite well and quickly progressed through new exercises and has been doing great! We are so proud of Windsor and his mom for all of their hard work. We will continue to see him periodically over his lifetime to be sure that all is well with his orthotic device and help with basic maintenance of it and probably some tune-up exercises along the way. He has a long active life ahead of him and can use all 4 legs to run through all the challenges ahead.