A CAM walker is an adjustable orthopaedic device that helps to immobilise the leg and foot and it also looks like a boot, hence occasionally is called a ‘moon boot’.
What is actually a CAM walker?
“CAM” is an acronym for “controlled ankle motion” and as the name suggests, its purpose is to allow immobilisation of the foot and ankle. It allows for some partial weight-bearing and reduced load through the injured tissue and bone and provides a safe and secure environment to promote healing, which is better than full plaster cast that won’t allow you to move at all.
The CAM walker allows you to maintain some mobility for your daily activities whilst ensuring your injury is healing efficiently.
What conditions is a CAM walker used for?
The CAM walker is used in the management of:
- foot and ankle fractures
- severe ankle sprains;
- post foot and ankle surgery; and
- sometimes soft tissue injuries such as plantar fascial tears, chronic fascial related pain and achilles tendon injury.
Any injury that requires rest and immobilisation will benefit from the CAM walker at some stage throughout your treatment plan.
How do I get fitted for a CAM walker?
A CAM walker can take some time to adjust to and it is recommended that you have a Podiatrist assist you in fitting it up and guide you through the different phase of wear and adjustment.
When getting fitted for a CAM walker, the Podiatrist will:
- ensure the correct size is chosen for your foot, ankle and lower leg shape
- apply extra padding around bony prominence’s and areas to stop rubbing.
- show you how to apply the boot properly and provide a gait assessment and some advice on how to best use the device to speed up the adjustment period.
- consider the footwear you use on the alternate foot to reduce leg length discrepancy and compensatory limping.
- refer for X-rays to assess the healing progress
- in some cases, customised inner soles may be needed to fit inside your CAM walker to decrease pressure from injured areas.
It’s important to have professional guidance during this critical phase so that you can maximise the benefits of wearing a CAM walker to recover from your injury quickly and safely.
How long do I need to wear the CAM walker for?
The time frame for use is dependent upon the extent of the injury and can vary from person to person.
Most will spend 4-6 weeks for soft tissue injury, and 6-8 weeks plus for bone and joint injury or longer if required depending on other underlying health factors. Conditions such as osteoporosis and osteopenia will likely delay healing.
It is important to transition out of the boot in a gradual and controlled manner, following a personalised rehabilitation program whilst decreasing your use of the CAM walker as you return to full weight-bearing.
Here at The Footcare Clinic, our Podiatrists are trained to order and fit CAM walkers. We can also refer for follow up imaging such as X-rays to assess injury progress and provide a customised rehabilitation program with a goal of getting the injured person back to doing what they love as soon and as safely as possible.
If you or someone you know needs assistance with getting fitted for a CAM walker then we’d love to help. You can book online or call our team on (03) 9711 7562 if you have any questions. We’re here to help!