Can a brace help heal the injury with or without surgery?
If you ask 10 vets about braces for CCL tears, chances are you will get 10 slightly different answers. There isn’t good research to back up the use of knee braces in dogs like there are in humans after ACL tears.
In general, a brace can help with the healing process. The role of the brace is to externally stabilize the knee joint. This is beneficial for dogs who either are not going to have surgery or to provide an extra layer or protecting for the dog who does have surgery while the surgical site heals.
There are a few things that any owner that is considering a brace should be aware of:
1. Not all dogs are going to tolerate wearing a brace! Most owners intuitively know if there dog is going to be willing to wear a brace. Yes, there will be some getting used to it, but a brace doesn’t work if it isn’t worn.
2. It should be custom made! There is no negotiation here. Dog’s vary in size and shape more than any other species on the planet. We DO NOT recommend purchasing a prefabricated brace off of the internet. Save your money!! Instead, look for a company or orthotist who has experience creating custom braces for other dogs and take a look at testimonials.
3. It’s best combined with rehabilitation, whether your dog has surgery or not. This is only going to help your dog build back muscle and help to stabilize the joint.
4. If your dog has had a meniscus tear, start with surgery. These are painful injuries that don’t get better without surgery.
Popular companies to get knee braces from are Hero Braces and Orthopets.