Moon Boots for Foot & Ankle Fractures

A podiatrist issuing a cam boot for a foot fracture

A CAM boot (moon boot) is a controlled ankle motion boot which is used to immobilise and treat lower leg injuries.

A Podiatrist fitting a cam boot for a foot fracture

Frequently Asked Questions

If your Podiatrist recommended a moon boot, it means your injury is serious and needs significant offloading. To get the best results and avoid potential long-term issues, you should follow their instructions and wear the CAM Walker until they say it’s okay to take it off, once enough healing has occurred.

The moon boot will allow you to walk, however it does make it slightly more difficult to walk. Therefore be guided by your Podiatrist and where possible minimise walking for optimal healing and offloading.

The time you’ll spend in the boot depends on your injury, which your podiatrist will guide you after a thorough diagnosis possibly including having x-rays or ultrasound. It could be anywhere from two to eight weeks. As soon as possible we can consider other options like orthotics and special shoes for offloading instead of the boot along with a gradual return to the activities you love.

If your job has you on your feet a lot, then yes, it’s likely. However, if your job involves sitting for most of the day, then the boot is not likely to impact you day to day. Whether you should take time off from work or not depends on your specific job, the level of pain you’re experiencing, and whether that pain affects your ability to perform your job duties.

Yes, it will. Moon boots, like any device that shifts a significant load away from one foot, will require some adjustment and feel quite different. This is normal, as part of your recovery process involves your other foot and leg temporarily bearing extra weight and pressure. A Podiatrist can issue you an equalizer for your opposite foot to help keep you even at the hips.

A moon boot is a specialised type of orthopaedic boot designed to immobilise and support the foot and ankle. It is often used to aid in the healing and recovery process after an injury or surgery involving the foot or ankle. It’s commonly known as a ‘moon boot’ because it looks like something an astronaut would war, though in the industry we refer to them as CAM (controlled ankle motion) boots.

Why would you need a CAM boot?

Most CAM/moon boots are issued due to traumatic injuries or conditions, such as:

  • Ankle fracture
  • Stress fractures of the foot
  • Stress reactions
  • Non-displaced fractures
  • Post-surgical offloading
  • Tendon ruptures
  • Diabetic wounds

Once the likely cause and diagnosis of the injury have been confirmed our podiatrists will determine if a cam boot is the most appropriate treatment for you.

Which is the right CAM/moon boot for you?

Not all moon boots are made for the same injuries or to the same quality. It’s vital that you get the type that’s right for you. Not only will the wrong moon boot do an inadequate job, it can also lead to referred pain, or pain in other parts of your body.

Prior to issuing you with the most appropriate CAM boot, we’ll give you a ‘strength and return to activity’ program to prevent further injury and reduce long term effects. At Momentum Podiatry Group, we have CAM boots in stock ready to be issued when needed.

Moon boot vs plaster cast: which is best?

As with most things in life, it depends. The choice between a moon boot and a plaster cast depends on various factors, including the nature and severity of the injury, the stage of healing and the recommendations of your podiatrist. The advantages of a moon boot are:

  • Adjustable Support: Moon boots offer the advantage of adjustable support. We can customise the level of support and immobilisation by adjusting straps or using removable wedges. This flexibility can be helpful during different stages of healing.
  • Hygiene: Moon boots are generally more hygienic than plaster casts because they can be removed, allowing you to clean and inspect the skin underneath. This can help prevent complications like skin irritation or infection.
  • Physical Activity: In some cases, moon boots allow for limited weight-bearing and mobility, which can help prevent muscle atrophy and improve circulation. This is especially beneficial for certain fractures or post-surgery recovery.
  • Monitoring: CAM boots allow podiatrists to more easily monitor the progress of healing since they can access and examine the injured area without having to remove an entire cast.

We’ll provide you with all the information you need

At Momentum Podiatry, when we fit a client with a moon boot, we take the opportunity to provide them with comprehensive education on its proper use. This educational support includes:

  • Duration and Usage: We provide guidance on how often and for how long the client should wear the moon boot, which is tailored to the specific nature of their injury.
  • Overnight Wear: We clarify whether overnight wear of the moon boot is necessary based on their injury and recovery requirements.
  • Removal and Refitting: Instructions on how to safely remove and refit the moon boot, especially in situations such as during activities like showering.
  • Weight-Bearing: Information regarding how much weight they can safely put on the injured limb while wearing the moon boot.
  • Gait Aids: We provide information about any potential gait aids that may be relevant to assist in walking with the moon boot.

We also provide practical guidance on walking comfortably while wearing the boot. This includes advice on establishing a smooth heel-to-toe rolling motion with each step, which helps evenly distribute pressure across the foot during walking.

To further enhance comfort and balance, we often recommend wearing a chunky-soled shoe on the opposite side of the injured limb. We can also arrange for the use of a device known as an “even-up,” which easily slips over the shoe on the uninjured side to help align the client’s hips and promote a balanced gait.

For precise adjustments, we may apply heel wedges into the shoe on the uninjured side to ensure level hips and a natural walking experience.

It’s important to note that washing the moon boot is not advised, as the internal liner is positioned correctly for the client’s needs. To maintain cleanliness, we recommend wearing a sock underneath the boot. We often provide patients with several stockings at no extra cost to help keep the boot clean and comfortable. Our goal is to ensure that clients have all the information and tools they need for a successful and comfortable recovery with their moon boot.

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