Leg Braces for a Newborn Giraffe

A new giraffe was born February first at the San Diego zoo safari park. But Msituni came into the world with a few problems. Her front legs bent the wrong way. A giraffe that has trouble walking is doomed. The veterinary staff at the park knew Msituni needed leg braces, but since the newborn was almost six feet tall already, they turned to experts for help. Experts in human braces. They turned to the Hanger Clinic, renowned for fitting orthotics to people who went on the achieve athletic success. Hanger had never made a leg brace for an animal, but Ara Mirzaian studied giraffes intently as soon as he got the request.

Msituni suffered from hyperextended carpi, wrist joint bones in giraffes’ front limbs, which are more like arms. As she overcompensated, the second front limb started to hyperextend as well. Her back leg joints also were weak but were able to be corrected with specialized hoof extenders. And given that she weighed more than 100lb (55kg) at birth, the abnormality was already taking its toll on her joints and bones.

Mirzaian cut and modified existing human braces for the giraffe while they waited for custom orthotics to be built for her. When Msituni finally got her custom-made braces, she only needed to wear them ten days before her front legs were corrected. Meanwhile, her rear legs had strengthened during her therapy. After 39 days of treatment, Msituni was able to rejoin the other giraffes at the park. read the entire story at the Guardian. -via Fark 

#giraffe #legbraces #orthotics

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