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Walking Boots are Painful

Walking Boots are Painful

Controlled Ankle Movement (CAM) boots have been a staple of care by orthopaedic surgeons and podiatrist for many years. The CAM boot or walking boot was a step up from plaster or fiberglass wrap case, as it was easier to apply, could be taken off to rest or shower, and lessened soft tissue damage.

However, walking boots are not without their own deficiencies. A study published in the Journal of American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons titled Associated Joint Pain With Controlled Ankle Movement Walker Boot Wear showed that many patients experienced pain in the knee, hip, and/or back from the added weight and limb length discrepancy from the CAM boot. The study found that nearly 70% of patients experienced secondary pain (away from the original injury) after wearing the boot. 1 in 3 patients had continued secondary pain 3 months after the device was removed.

The secondary pain from the CAM boot can range from a mere annoyance to a severe pain. In fact, a class-action lawsuit has been filed against a CAM boot manufacturer. The CAM boot can severely limit a patient’s mobility and take them away from activities of daily living. The walking boot does immobilize the ankle, but often immobilizes the patient in the process.

Just like the walking boot replaced casting, there is a new product that will replace most walking boots for hindfoot and ankle injuries. The TayCo External Ankle is the only lightweight ankle-foot orthosis (AFO) that fits over the patient’s shoe so that it will not cause a limb length discrepancy. The Acute TayCo Brace comes fixed to immobilize the ankle, then converts to free motion to allow the patient to walk with a normal gait while providing inversion and eversion support.

Dr. Christopher Gauland of Specialty Foot and Ankle has had tremendous success treating his patients with the TayCo Brace rather than a CAM boot.

“The TayCo External Ankle Brace has effectively replaced 85% of the fracture (CAM) boots I use for ankle injuries. It allows my patients to return to pain-free activity sooner and effectively acts as both an immobilization device and a functional brace. My patients couldn’t be happier.”

The TayCo external ankle brace is the next step forward in ankle injury recovery. It fits outside the shoe to limit soft tissue damage. It allows patients to return to their normal active lives faster than with a walking boot and does not cause secondary pain from limb length discrepancy.

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