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Cam walker for plantar Fasciitis??

Posted by Cary S on 6/26/02 at 19:42 (088532)

Recently my Doc suggested the use of a Cam Walker for my chronic PF. I have severe pain in my arch, and front part of my heel. It has been going on for a long time. He prescribed a night splint for the past 6 weeks or so, to little avail. The only thing which seemed to help was when another Doc did Low Dye taping for 3 weeks, twice a week. However the problem returned when he stopped taping. Am I wasting time with the Cam Walker idea. I need to get to the bottom of this. My foot is killing me.

Re: Cam walker for plantar Fasciitis??

Dr. Zuckerman on 6/26/02 at 22:41 (088549)

You need to get an mri of the foot to evaluate the posterior tibial tendon, ligaments. joint surface. rule out stress fracture

Re: Cam walker for plantar Fasciitis??

R C on 6/27/02 at 01:36 (088562)

Just a few thoughts from a fellow PF sufferer.

If the tape helped at least to hold the line, you might learn to tape your foot by yourself. This may take time and trial-and-error. I strongly urge this as down the road you might want to combine taping with the other things you are doing to make it more effective. That certainly was my experience. Nowadays I am completely pain-free, but I tape my foot as a precaution before doing anything that might risk hurting my foot again.

All of the nurses, technicians and physical therapists I've learned to respect throughout this ordeal seem to agree that the cam walker (and casts) are significantly more effective if you are able to use them with crutches full time -- no exceptions. Even though they are designed to be walked in, it makes plain sense that not putting your weight on your foot enhances the chances of the injured tissue being allowed to heal. Even a few unguarded steps can set you back. In my humble experience, I went through two cam walkers without crutches and with no improvement whatsoever; finally I went with a fiberglass cast and for 4 weeks my foot didn't touch the ground. This finally cured me.

One more thing -- if you immobilize your foot for several weeks, you shouldn't expect to be able to jump right back into regualr activity. Ease back into it under the guidance of a capable physical therapist, because it is at that stage that re-injury is most likely. Been there myself.

I hope this helps. Best wishes to you.

Re: Cam walker for plantar Fasciitis??

Ed Davis, DPM on 6/29/02 at 17:37 (088776)

A Cam walker is a form of immobilization (rest) so it may have some benefit. I think that the best clue to effective treatment is the success of the taping. We tape PF for two reasons: 1) to offer relief and 2) to test the effect of decreased plantar fascial strain --- a test to see if orthotics would work or not. Generally, if taping helps, then orhtotics (properly made) may help even more.
Ed

Re: Cam walker for plantar Fasciitis??

Dr. Zuckerman on 6/26/02 at 22:41 (088549)

You need to get an mri of the foot to evaluate the posterior tibial tendon, ligaments. joint surface. rule out stress fracture

Re: Cam walker for plantar Fasciitis??

R C on 6/27/02 at 01:36 (088562)

Just a few thoughts from a fellow PF sufferer.

If the tape helped at least to hold the line, you might learn to tape your foot by yourself. This may take time and trial-and-error. I strongly urge this as down the road you might want to combine taping with the other things you are doing to make it more effective. That certainly was my experience. Nowadays I am completely pain-free, but I tape my foot as a precaution before doing anything that might risk hurting my foot again.

All of the nurses, technicians and physical therapists I've learned to respect throughout this ordeal seem to agree that the cam walker (and casts) are significantly more effective if you are able to use them with crutches full time -- no exceptions. Even though they are designed to be walked in, it makes plain sense that not putting your weight on your foot enhances the chances of the injured tissue being allowed to heal. Even a few unguarded steps can set you back. In my humble experience, I went through two cam walkers without crutches and with no improvement whatsoever; finally I went with a fiberglass cast and for 4 weeks my foot didn't touch the ground. This finally cured me.

One more thing -- if you immobilize your foot for several weeks, you shouldn't expect to be able to jump right back into regualr activity. Ease back into it under the guidance of a capable physical therapist, because it is at that stage that re-injury is most likely. Been there myself.

I hope this helps. Best wishes to you.

Re: Cam walker for plantar Fasciitis??

Ed Davis, DPM on 6/29/02 at 17:37 (088776)

A Cam walker is a form of immobilization (rest) so it may have some benefit. I think that the best clue to effective treatment is the success of the taping. We tape PF for two reasons: 1) to offer relief and 2) to test the effect of decreased plantar fascial strain --- a test to see if orthotics would work or not. Generally, if taping helps, then orhtotics (properly made) may help even more.
Ed