The specialist, doctor or physiotherapist has prescribed you this CAM boot to wear – here are some frequently asked questions !
What is a CAM boot
CAM stands for Controlled Ankle Motion and is the most commonly used brace for injuries of the foot and ankle. It can also be referred to as a moon boot. It is often prescribed by practitioners to reduce movement at the ankle joint following fractures, ligamentous injuries and sprains. CAM boots can be used in conjunction with other mobility aids such as crutches or a scooter, dependent on the injury and your medical history. CAM boots are available in standard (as pictured) or short sizes with additional features such as inflation, padding and a rocker- bottom sole to assist the gait cycle. The type and severity of the injury will determine the boot parameters in conjunction with your practitioner and Physiotherapist.
How long do I have to wear it for?
This will depend on a range of factors and will be different for everyone. The type and severity of injury will dictate your guidelines prescribed by the practitioner. If you need clarification on how long you need to wear the boot, please contact your physiotherapist or treating practitioner.
Do I have to sleep in the boot?
Sleeping in the boot is recommended to ensure appropriate healing and avoid aggravation of symptoms. Sleep is an important aspect of rehab and forms around a 3rd of our day, hence it is integral that the ankle range is controlled during this time. Additionally, we move around a lot whilst we sleep and therefore the boot will help control any twisting that may increase pain or swelling. Although it may be a little clunky to sleep in, utilising pillows and ensuring appropriate sleep hygiene will help assist in getting a good nights sleep. In some instances, your therapist may recommend sleeping without the boot this choice should not be made independently.
Can I take off the boot to shower?
This will ultimately depend on your guidelines and weight bearing status. It is important not to get the brace wet and it also important for post op surgical sites not to get wet in the early stages. If you need to keep the brace on at all times, using wipes or a plastic cover can be effective. If your specialist or physiotherapist has advised that you can take it off for showers, taking care and using supports if available is recommended.
My boot does not feel right what should I do?
If your boot feels too tight or loose it is important to contact your physiotherapist to ensure it has been fitted properly. A brace that is fitted incorrectly can impact optimum healing of the injured tissue, this may lead to increased pain, swelling or worse outcomes. Additionally, if the boot is too tight pressure injuries or skin irritation can occur which may have further complications. If your skin becomes sore, red, itchy please contact your treating practitioner.
The height of the boot can impact your weight distribution during weight bearing. This may start to impact your hips and lumbar spine. It is recommended to wear a thick-soled shoe on the unaffected limb to equalise any length discrepancies.
Can I wear clothes or compression items underneath the boot?
It is recommended that the brace is worn as close to the skin as possible to ensure that correct position is achieved and maintained. Compression garments such as TubiGrip can be worn underneath to help assist with swelling and comfort. Tighter items of clothing such as leggings may be worn underneath if the position of the knee brace is not compromised.
This video below demonstrates the correct fitting of a CAM boot. They should be individually fitted based on the size of your foot and lower limb under the guidance of a Physiotherapist.