Caroline Adrian is a PT, PhD and CCRP at VCA Veterinary Specialists of Northern Colorado in Loveland, CO where she is the Director of Rehabilitation Services for all VCA Hospitals.
In 2005, Dr. Adrian met Hero's founder Ben Blecha through his uncle and co-founder Dr. Wayne Watkins. Dr. Adrian was impressed with the unique Hero design and how it was based on established, biomechanical concepts. She was also impressed with how Ben made sure his designs 'worked' before ever introducing them to the public.
Dr. Adrian stresses that it is the proper stability-providing, biomechanical design that allows the brace to be truly effective. A stifle orthosis may be used as an alternative to surgery when surgery isn't an option due to concomitant medical reasons, or when finances are a concern. A Hero Brace can allow a dog to perform at any level, even when a meniscal tear is present. In her experience, she's noticed that other braces steer you away from a bracing option when a meniscal tear is involved.
Dr. Adrian likes how simple the casting process is for the Hero Brace; the fact that it's done while the dog is side-lying and that it only takes 20-30 minutes in the clinic. She appreciates that the entire process is quick and simple: from talking with the client, to evaluating the dog, to casting and mailing the brace. She admires how Ben and the Hero team are extremely responsive to any questions or concerns, and she thinks the videos and learning tools online are most beneficial and easy to follow. Because of the accurate design, she likes that brace itself is easy for clients to use with minimal complications and/or adjustments needed. She is glad that her clients are satisfied with the product and see positive results immediately with their dog after the first fitting!
Dr. Adrian's patient Sadie sustained a CCL rupture in July 2013. Surgery was not an option as Sadie had several other issues including polyarthritis and had been on steroids long term. Her owner Cindy recently sent Dr. Adrian an email to thank her for recommending a Hero Brace.
From: Cindy Leary
Sent: Wednesday, November 12, 2014 3:59 PM
To: Carrie Adrian
Subject: Re: Sadie with new knee brace
Hey, Carrie....How are you? Sadie is handling her new "knee" fairly well. The other day I took her for a walk with the leash out our back gate which she hasn't been out of since her accident. We walked all along the breeze stone path and it's all open acreage back there and very rugged; she pulled like crazy to get back there. Just seeing her reaction and happiness to her old stomping grounds was everything. She wears the brace for around 3 hours at a time and doesn't really pay any attention to it. SO upset at myself for not doing this sooner! Thanks for everything…..Cindy
Dr. Adrian is proud to be able to offer Hero Braces to her clients, "Hero Braces are a viable, beneficial option for a cranial cruciate ligament rupture (+/- meniscal involvement) – even bilateral ruptures." She also recommends Hero Braces to fellow physical therapists, CCRPs and veterinarians for their patients, "IT WORKS!"
Dr Carrie Adrian, PT, PhD, CCRP, began her career in animal physical therapy in February 2000 at Alameda East Veterinary Hospital in Denver, CO. She received her PhD in Canine Biomechanics, the first degree of its kind in the country, from Colorado State University, with a research focus related to electromyography and the canine cruciate ligament.
Dr. Adrian is so well respected in the field of canine rehabilitation that she has actually helped "write the book". She has authored several chapters in textbooks used by many entering the field. She is widely sought to speak at many conferences as an authority on topics such as rehab bracing and biomechanics.