A CAM walker is a restrictive boot worn by patients recovering from severe ankle sprains, soft-tissue injuries and fractures of the lower leg or while recovering from Achilles tendon surgery. CAM is an acronym for "Controlled Ankle Motion."
CAM walkers are designed to restrict both voluntary and involuntary movement in the lower leg to prevent further injury and aid internal healing. In incidents of bone fracture, CAM walkers may also be worn for a period of time after a conventional cast is removed.
Conventional CAM walkers are constructed of high-grade plastic, nylon, foam cushioning and Velcro straps. Some CAM walkers contain aluminium struts for extra support.
Types of CAM walkers include non-inflated, pre-inflated and adjustable inflated. Inflated CAM walkers surround the lower extremity in an air cast that can be inflated and deflated to desired pressure according to the severity and healing stage of the injury.
By increasing the weight-bearing potential of injured extremities, CAM walkers offer patients considerably more range of mobility than conventional casts. Since most CAM walkers duplicate the natural motion of the foot while walking, there is less risk of additional injury through the development of unconventional stepping habits.
Individuals using CAM walkers should ensure that the boot is properly sized and fitted by a medical professional before use. Improperly fit CAM walkers could result in further injury.
CAM walkers are also commonly referred to as "soft boots" or "walking casts."
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