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Boston O&P Orthotist Creates a Custom Brace for a Furry Family Member

Boston Orthotics & Prosthetics specializes in custom lower limb orthoses, and has made thousands of braces for patients to address muscular issues or instability, reduce pain, or encourage healing after trauma or injury.

So when 9-year-old Chesney hurt her knee, her dad Daryl Fornuff, who is a certified orthotist and the director of the Boston O&P of New Jersey Children's Specialized Hospital clinic, knew just what to do. The fact that Chesney isn’t Boston O&P’s usual type of patient didn’t deter him in the least.

Chesney, the Fornuff family’s Goldendoodle, had gotten her knee twisted in a vine while pumpkin-picking with her family last fall, and could barely walk. After taking her to the vet, the family discovered that Chesney had a torn ACL on her right back leg and would need surgery.

As an expert in lower extremity orthotics, Fornuff is used to working with patients with lower limb injuries, and immediately got to work creating a custom knee brace to prevent further damage to the leg and reduce pain until the surgery could be completed.

First, he took a cast of Chesney’s leg, then took the cast to his office and filled it with plaster to make a mold. Once the plaster had set, he modified the mold, wrapped melted plastic around it, took the plastic off the mold and cut it into the right shape, smoothed the edges, and added the joints, padding and straps to create a custom knee brace for Chesney.

Chesney wore the brace for about a month, then underwent successful TTA (Tibial Tuberosity Advancement) surgery and is now as good as new.

“My wife and I refer to Chesney as our first bought child instead of our first born child,” said Fornuff. “For us, Chesney is a member of our family and we would do just about ANYTHING for her. So putting this much time, effort, and money into her well-being is worth it in every way.”

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