Sagittal Subtalar and Talocrural Joint Assessment During Ambulation With Controlled Ankle Movement (CAM) Boots
Foot & Ankle International
Background: The purpose of the current study was to determine sagittal plane talocrural and subtalar kinematic differences between barefoot and controlled ankle movement (CAM) boot walking. This study used fluoroscopic images to determine talar motion relative to tibia and calcaneal motion relative to talus.
Methods: Fourteen male subjects (mean age 24.1 ± 3.5 years) screened for normal gait were tested. A fluoroscopy unit was used to collect images at 200 Hz during stance. Sagittal motion of the talocrural and subtalar joints were analyzed barefoot and within short and tall CAM boots.
Results: Barefoot talocrural mean maximum plantar and dorsiflexion were 9.2 ± 5.4 degrees and −7.5 ± 7.4 degrees, respectively; short CAM boot mean maximum plantar and dorsiflexion were 3.2 ± 4.0 degrees and −4.8 ± 10.2 degrees, respectively; and tall CAM boot mean maximum plantar and dorsiflexion were −0.2 ± 3.5 degrees and −2.4 ± 5.1 degrees, respectively. Talocrural mean range of motion (ROM) decreased from barefoot (16.7 ± 5.1 degrees) to short CAM boot (8.0 ± 4.9 degrees) to tall CAM boot (2.2 ± 2.5 degrees). Subtalar mean maximum plantarflexion angles were 5.3 ± 5.6 degrees for barefoot walking, 4.1 ± 5.9 degrees for short CAM boot walking, and 3.0 ± 4.7 degrees for tall CAM boot walking. Mean minimum subtalar plantarflexion angles were 0.7 ± 3.2 degrees for barefoot walking, 0.7 ± 2.9 degrees for short CAM boot walking, and 0.1 ± 4.8 degrees for tall CAM boot walking. Subtalar mean ROM decreased from barefoot (4.6 ± 3.9 degrees) to short CAM boot (3.4 ± 3.8 degrees) to tall CAM boot (2.9 ± 2.6 degrees).
Conclusion: Tall and short CAM boot intervention was shown to limit both talocrural and subtalar motion in the sagittal plane during ambulation. The greatest reductions were seen with the tall CAM boot, which limited talocrural motion by 86.8% and subtalar motion by 37.0% compared to barefoot. Short CAM boot intervention reduced talocrural motion by 52.1% and subtalar motion by 26.1% compared to barefoot.
Clinical Relevance: Both short and tall CAM boots reduced talocrural and subtalar motion during gait. The short CAM boot was more convenient to use, whereas the tall CAM boot more effectively reduced motion. In treatments requiring greater immobilization of the talocrural and subtalar joints, the tall CAM boot should be considered.