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Infant Howler Orthopaedic Surgery Rehabilitation

Infant howler monkey during orthopaedic surgeryLibby fell from a tree in Santa Cruz and badly fractured her femur. In order to save her leg, she needed special orthopaedic surgery in San Jose. Thanks to donations from the public, the surgery was performed by Dr Randall Arguedas who has experience infant howler monkey after surgery with intramedullary pinswith these difficult fractures. Intramedullary pins were inserted into her leg with external fixation to repair the damage.
Once Libby’s leg was stable with the pins inserted, she needed 7 weeks of crate rest while the bone healed.  During that time, Libby did exceptionally well. Because she needed to stay inside a crate to limit her movement, Libby was hand fed and taken outside for fresh air, sunshine and some surrogate comfort several times a day with our clinic caregivers.

two orphaned infant howler monkeys
Lupe making Libby smile

After an x-ray to confirm that the fracture had mended, the pins were removed and a temporary cast-like bandage was placed on Libby’s leg so she could rehabilitate with the 22 orphans inside our infants nursery.

two orphaned infant howler monkeys
Libby and Leslie

The nursery is a super fun place where howlers can run, jump, climb, swing, chase and wrestle while learning important survival and foraging skills. It’s a lot like a school playground with kids running around everywhere! Recently one of our howlers injured her arm while playing with one of the older orphans so we decided to wrap up Libby’s leg while the wounds where the pins were inserted heals. This will give Libby a little extra protection while she enjoys some playtime with her new friends.

Libby has already made some new friends and has been snuggling with Leslie, who was in the crate next to her in the clinic and Lupe who is doing her best to make Libby smile!

UPDATE Dec 17th, 2018

Libby is thriving inside our infant nursery! She’s regained all the strength in her leg and is now climbing confidently! We are absolutely thrilled with her progress.