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Thoughts on the pros/cons of a CAM boot to treat achilles tendonitis (Read 65 times)

    Hi all,

     

    I posted recently about going to the doctor, an orthopedist with foot/ankle specialty (Kirstina Olson, MD at UCSF for any local in the bay area).  She was great, I would recommend.   I was interested to hear others' experiences with using a CAM boot to address long term achilles (also peroneal) tendonitis.

     

    My symptoms began from (likely) overuse too much too soon in August 2012 while marathon training.  I didn't run the race, took time off, started physical therapy, but still mildly symptomatic at rest with an intensification in symptoms when I have tried to run (a few short ones in January and once in April).  The doctor suggested the CAM boot as an option, indicating that a period of immobilization for a month might ease the pressures on the soft tissues and suggested it at this point given that I've had this for 9+ months.  She conceded many patients and runners feel this approach can be a step backwards and that some atrophy in calf muscle is likely.  And she also supported my choice around it and supported a "wait and see" approach as well since my symptoms have slowly been improving (at least while not running).

     

    So...I'm considering it.  Seems like a hassle and a chunk of money (no help from Blue Shield on orthotics) but maybe worth it.  Others have experiences or opinions?

     

    cheers,

    runpsy

      Not specific to a boot, but there are some interesting words of wisdom from Nobby in this thread on long term Achilles problems, which does address the arguments for and against relying on rest to solve the problem (don't be fooled by the thread title, it's a bit of a hijack):

       

      http://www.runningahead.com/forums/topic/dc7001ab63374029b07fb10939361f05/0

        She conceded many patients and runners feel this approach can be a step backwards and that some atrophy in calf muscle is likely.  And she also supported my choice around it and supported a "wait and see" approach as well since my symptoms have slowly been improving (at least while not running).

         

         

        Found this interesting. ^

         

        First off, I'd read Nobby's suggestions for your calf issues. My achilles problems were caused by my calves. I went with complete rest and self massage of the affected area and the calves.

         

        Second, I'm convinced my latest issues with my foot are a direct result of the boot. (just throwing it out for consideration)

         

        Strange foot issues for the first time. It's in the foot I broke, but that's not the issue. The 3rd and 4th metatarsals are really sore after most of my runs. It's almost like they work into a knot or something. It's usually gone by the end of the day. Just a different issue that I've never dealt with. I'll guess it's caused by walking around on my heel in that damn boot for 6 weeks. Perhaps the muscles and or tendons have atrophied?

          My Achilles was injured early this year. I reduced my mileage dramatically for about 5 weeks. Many RA runners gave me some suggestions. I tried eccentric hill drops and ran easy for a few weeks. During those weeks, my left Achilles was still hurting, but I ran any way. The active recovery actually helped it healing for me. After about 5 weeks, my Achilles was about 95% healed. I gradually introduced some speed workout. It seemed to adjust well. Since the AT, I have been doing Eccentric Hill Drops before and after every run.

           

          The other thing you may want to look at is your core and back strength. You may want to improve those areas to improve your running form.

          5k - 20:56 (09/12), 7k - 28:40 (11/12), 10k trial - 43:08  (03/13), 42:05 (05/13), FM - 3:09:28 (05/13), HM - 1:28:20 (05/14)