Moon boots have been around since the late 1970s. Back then, a moon boot was simply known as an orthopedic device, and no one would've ever guessed that this device would turn into a sought-after product by athletes worldwide, as it introduces a faster way to recover from sports injuries. But that doesn't seem to be the only use of moon boots.
Recently, medical practitioners are beginning to think that moon boots may also become an excellent device for the elderly, as they can potentially treat conditions such as osteoarthritis and knee bursitis, or at least minimize the inconvenience brought by such conditions.
Will it help one walk normally? Can it prevent accidents? How does it work? These are just a few questions you might be asking as an elderly caregiver, and we'll get to the answers in a moment, but first, this article will discuss what a moon boot is.
What Is A Moon Boot?
"Moon boots" is just one of the many terms for a certain product. Other terms include orthopedic boots, walking boots, and the original term, Controlled Action Motion boots or CAM walkers. Regardless, a moon boot is a device with a shape similar to shoes, but it consists of several straps that wrap around your foot and lower leg. Moon boots can be made of leather, fabric, suede, and sometimes synthetic materials.
If you look up images of moon boots and foot casts on the internet, you'll find that these two products are similar in terms of appearance. And believe it or not, they also serve the same purpose—to protect an injured area. However, there are specific differences.
Moon Boots vs. Foot Casts
Unlike moon boots, foot casts do not have straps. Foot casts may also work differently from how a moon boot works. While casts are meant solely to protect injuries and aid in recovery, moon boots provide the patient with enough mobility to walk and perform simple tasks.
This is possible because the moon boot's structure allows the ankle and foot to stay in place while reducing some of the weight from the patient's foot as they walk. As a result, their lower limbs will maintain the ideal blood flow that’s necessary for optimal recovery even while walking. Not surprisingly, moon boots are far more expensive than foot casts, so why should you use moon boots?
Why Use Moon Boots?
Moon boots are designed to speed up the recovery process of foot or ankle injuries. An injury that would typically take three months to heal may recover as fast as two months with a pair of moon boots. But its benefits extend beyond these numbers. Here's a closer look at the other benefits of moon boots:
- You can take off moon boots easily by undoing the straps, allowing you to perform actions such as applying ice, changing the dressing, and washing the feet.
- You don't have to use crutches whenever you want to walk.
- You can adjust moon boots using the straps, meaning you can loosen the device when the swelling worsens or tighten it when the swelling subsides.
- You can handle the weight of moon boots more easily as they are lighter than casts.
- You have more options for moon boots than when you opt for foot casts.
While moon boots are objectively a lot better than foot casts, there are times when foot casts are the preferable option, especially in the case of minor injuries. This begs the question—on which injuries should you use moon boots as treatment?
Injuries Treatable With Moon Boots
If the patient is suffering from a condition affecting muscles, bones, or tissues, getting a moon boot will be a wise choice. Examples of these conditions include:
- Tendon Tears
- Bone Fractures
- Post-Surgical Injuries
- Severe Ankle Sprains
- Tendon Ruptures
Most of these conditions are severe, so does that indicate that seniors shouldn't use a moon boot if they're not suffering from a severe injury? Surprisingly, it doesn't. In fact, moon boots may be the best device for assisted living residents.
Why Should Seniors Use A Moon Boot?
Orthopedic experts typically advise against moon boots usage in cases of minor injuries, as it may hinder the individual's ability to perform basic tasks. This is the main disadvantage of moon boots, but this does not apply to seniors. Some older people are already struggling to accomplish simple tasks, so wearing a moon boot won’t make a difference. Hence, you can say that moon boots are perfect for senior citizens. So, how can you get this device?
Where And How Can You Get Moon Boots?
There are several ways to get moon boots.
- You can ask an orthopedic doctor to give you a custom CAM walker.
- You can buy from medical companies that prescribe moon boots.
- You can buy from online stores such as Amazon.
If you opt for option number one, it's possible to cover a fraction or even the total cost with your insurance. If you opt for option number two, it would be harder to ask your insurance company for financial help, all the more so if you choose option number three. It usually costs around $200, but it should be a lot cheaper if you choose to buy from online stores. But beware, some of them are not genuine moon boots.
Moon Boots: A User's Guide
Once you get your hands on a moon boot, there are a few things you have to remember as an elderly caregiver:
- While a moon boot may reduce the pressure on the foot while walking, it's not ideal to walk as much as you like. Make sure your patient walks only when necessary.
- If your patient has been prescribed moon boots, follow the doctor's instructions strictly.
- Your patient will walk differently with a moon boot, so it will take a few days to get used to. In the meantime, you have to provide them with as much support as possible.
- Elevating the lower limbs can maximize the effects of this device and prevent swelling. So, adding pillows under the foot of your patient while they're sleeping may help.
Moon boots may be beneficial for seniors, but it's not the answer to all mobility problems, and it doesn't guarantee that your patient will no longer suffer from accidents. Moon boots are originally designed to aid the recovery of foot or ankle injuries, and it’s best to get them from a licensed medical doctor. However, you can also acquire moon boots through medical supply providers and online stores.
Author: Carmen Andrews
Carmen Andrews has been writing articles about senior care for many years. She has many years of experiences in orthopedic nursing. Her passion for caring is extended in her sharing of real-life experiences through blogging, seminars, and free consultations.
Carmen is married with four children. She loves gardening and cooking. Also, she enjoys badminton and running.