CAM Walkers are fracture boots designed to immobilise the foot and ankle following lower limb fractures, ligament strains and other injuries. They have two major advantages over standard casts.
1. They can be taken off for showering
2. They are designed to be walked in without the aid of crutches (however, depending on the injury, a patient may not be permitted to wait bear in the initial stages)
Since these boots use Velcro closures, they are better at accommodating changes in swelling following an injury, as opposed to standard casts. Many people find lower limb casts become very loose in the final stages of use (due to disuse atrophy of muscles), but fracture boots can be progressively tightened to keep a snug fit.
Most fracture walkers fix the ankle at 90 degrees. However, some are articulated and the range of motion they allow at the ankle can be incrementally adjusted.
Patients using a cam walker are advised to wear a shoe of matching heel height on the opposite side. The fracture boot heel is reasonably thick, and if you walk around lop-sided for several weeks it’s common to develop some hip and back pain.
Some fracture boots also have ‘air liners’. These can be inflated to achieve a more snug fit around the ankle. However, they do cost more than standard walkers.