The Charcot Restraint Orthotic Walker or CROW for short is a type of custom made brace that is designed to reduce pressure on the foot and the ankle for people who have a neuropathic ulcer and/or a Charcot Joint. The CROW is made from a cast or impression of the foot and lower leg and is designed with a soft footbed and cushioned liner. The brace is made of rigid plastic with a rockered bottom to allow for normal heel to toe walking. The brace works to reduce destructive forces in the foot and ankle, protecting the bone at the same time as reducing pressure on the bottom of the foot to help heel and prevent ulcers.
The CROW is used most commonly for patients who have peripheral neuropathy, often due to complications of Diabetes Mellitus. In patients who have Diabetes, the nerves maybe affected resulting in loss of feeling. If an area is damaged and the person does not feel it, they may continue to walk, creating more damage and not allowing the foot to heal. The damage may be at the skin level (an ulcer) or in the bones. The CROW protects the foot and ankle to allow for healing. For more information on the potential damage caused by peripheral neuropathy, please check Charcot Joint.
The Ministry Of Health and Long Term Care Assistive Devices Program may provide funding for the CROW when it is prescribed by a physician, provided by a Certified Orthotist and for everyday use of a chronic medical condition. The Certified Orthotists at CODG can help you with the Assistive Devices Program (ADP).