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Redesign of the Orthopedic Walking (CAM) Boot

Team Members:
  • Grace Kuroki
  • Amir Manbachi, PhD
  • Stephen Belkoff, PhD
  • Jason Hammond, MD
  • Jane Webster
  • Charlotte Webster
  • Joshua De Souza


One of the best parts about being a young adult is feeling invincible, pushing one’s boundaries to the extremes. However, this leads to a series of injuries, particularly in ankles. In patients 19 or younger, sports related injuries rank as the second highest source of ankle fractures. According to Dr. Jason Hammond, orthopedic surgeon at Union Memorial Hospital, the most common reason for a prescription orthopedic walking boot is a non-surgical solution to tendonitis and small fractures in the ankle/foot. These patients will wear the boot from two to six weeks, depending on the severity of the injury. But, up to 80% of patients discontinue using their orthopedic shoes or devices before suggested end time, with the majority of concerns ranging from function to aesthetic complaints. The major issues of the current design of the boot are: the poor fit, heavy weight, bulky size, lack of options for warmer climates, displeasing appearance, and most importantly, unacceptable discomfort. Even though these boots are not one-size fits all, their sizing selection and current design leave most users dissatisfied and left with further pain. Due to the lack of availability in customization and desire to discontinue wear, there is a need for a walking boot that can be optimized for the athletic young adult and adolescent age group to maximize recovery in a minimum amount of time for non-surgical patients with small fractures.

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