All you need to know about CAM walkers

What is a CAM walker and what considerations should you take if you are in one

A CAM walker is a brace that is used by your podiatrist to immobilises and unload your foot and ankle. The CAM even stands for Controlled Ankle Movement. They are frequently used for more serious injuries where offloading from a foot orthoses and a supportive shoe may not be enough. The CAM walker is basically a cast you can walk in.

The benefits of a CAM walker over a cast is that it is removable, adjustable, durable, reusable and hygienic. Being in the Far North being able to take the liner out of the boot and wash it is a major benefit. Another positive is the rocker sole shape of the boot is designed to not require crutches. 

There are a few things to think about when using a CAM walker. The first would be how long you are recommended to keep it on for. In most instances you are able to remove the boot for sleeping, showering and to allow you to drive as well. However in some instances your podiatrist will recommend you wear the boot 24 hours a day (excluding showering). The liner of the boot should be regularly washed; another tip is to wear a long sock or compression tube under the boot (again a good one for the humidity of Far North Queensland). Walking in the boot is going to take an adjustment period. The Walker is designed to roll in a specific way to reduce foot and ankle movement. This is going to ask your quads and hips flexors to do more work while walking, which can lead to discomfort, tightness and reduced balance. It can help to raise the opposite shoe or wear a wedged shoe to even our hips out. Elevating your leg during your period in the CAM walker is also important as while your ankle is immobilised your calf is not pumping blood away from you foot back to your heart.

The most important thing about wearing a CAM walker is to follow your podiatrist’s instructions. And if you have any issues or concerns ask your podiatrist.