Wednesday, April 6, 2011

AFOs - A Down To Earth Guide on Ankle Foot Orthoses and Orthopedic Braces - Part 14

Why CAM Walkers Work

CAM walkers usually limit motion at the site of a patient's foot and ankle. (This is why there are considered in this series to be an ankle foot orthosis, although not the traditional type.) This limitation of movement happens with a rigid plantar surface (the surface underneath a patient's foot) and with ankle uprights that help to inhibit movement. When unwanted ankle and foot movements are avoided, a patient has a higher degree of likelihood that they will heal properly. Why? - When a fracture at the foot or ankle is not moving and being aggravated then the body has a better chance of healing itself.

How can a fracture or injury such as a sprain or fracture be aggravated?

The answer is simple, with movement. The wrong movement. For example, in a normal gain cycle, you will notice that your ankle and foot need to move dynamically in order to adapt to the floor and allow for a patient's body to move forward in space. Now consider walking the distance of 100 meters. The repetition of movement at the injury site can be a severe problem. You might think to yourself that if a person could just be careful enough they would not need a brace like this CAM walker stated here. The reality is that the patient only needs to forget one time and then the injury can be worse as a result. Do you know anybody that likes going back to "square one" when they are trying to heal? - We think you know the answer to this question.

CAM Walkers & The Use of a Rocker Bottom

You will also see that there is something called a "rocker bottom" located on the bottom of a CAM walker. You may wonder what a rocker bottom can do for a patient when it is part of a brace. Rocker bottoms are used to help induce a more fluid gait pattern, when you take away normal ankle and foot motion. In the case of CAM walkers, you are taking away ankle and foot motion for a good reason. As a result, people will benefit many times from a rocker bottom. on the device so it will smooth out movement.

Note: This is health information. Orthopedic bracing scenarios can vary slightly, so it is best to get medical advice on bracing and orthotics from your local, licensed orthotist (brace specialist). This is good information, but we can not cover ever patient care situation.

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