Proper Footwear While Wearing an Orthopedic Walker Boot
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As the use of Orthopedic Walker Boots increases it is important to study the effects of these boots. Walker boots have been shown to change kinetic and kinematic gait factors. However, the advantages of walker boots compared to casts often outweigh the possible negative effects of these changes. Specific advantages include the ease of application, easy adjustment to swelling and easy access for cleaning. Also, by maintaining some forces through the injured limb, proper healing can be encouraged. Besides the changes of gait, the decreased compliance and increased risk of falling are disadvantages that must be considered when using walker boots as treatment. The current study investigated the kinematic gait difference associated with walker boots and footwear worn on the opposite foot. The purpose of the study was the compare the changes in gait while wearing a walker boot and running shoe with the changes while wearing a walker boot and flip-flop. It was hypothesized that the flip-flops will lead to increased kinematic changes. To test this hypothesis, participants walked at self-selected speeds while motion capture systems were used to analyze the motion of the ankle, hip, knee and pelvic joints. Assessment of the self-selected speed indicates that there is a trend to support the hypothesis, but these differences are not significant to confirm the hypothesis. Full results were not able to be published in this work.