A Crow Boot is Really A Charcot Restraint Orthotic Walker (C.R.O.W.)
WHAT IS A C.R.O.W.?
A CROW boot or Charcot Restraint Orthotic Walker is designed to reduce pressure on the surface of the sole of the foot with the familiar double valve arrangement and rocker bottom sole. Within the boot, the manufacturer has added a removable customized foot orthotic, which is fashioned to take the pressure off the foot.
The CROW boots are available in Black or White and lined with a type of foam that acts as a shock absorber for added comfort. The boot is easy to remove for showering and going to bed.
This walker was developed for patients with severe deformity of the foot and ankle due to a acute nerve damage which is mostly caused by diabetes. It encloses the whole limb, totally surrounding the ankle and foot with a built-in sole that accommodates the rocker bottom shape of the
This orthopedic brace is custom made from a mold of the patient’s affected limb. The boot is fully lined and has a customized insole. According to the size of the patient’s foot, adjustments are made to allow equal weight distribution throughout the limb and give support of the ankle joint and other bones of the leg.
A first then a second CROW boot were fabricated for me as I was doing a job that involved standing and walking around all day, which is not recommended. As a result, I developed problem after problem.
At times the technicians had to modify it to accommodate changes in the shape of my foot, due to swelling and discomfort, by flaring, adding padding, and trimming where and when appropriate. I was also given extra inner soles to take home which I can use to improve my comfort level.
The Function of a C.R.O.W.
When patients endure Charcot deformities, they can have open sores on their feet that may be causing stress. A patient may also have an out of shape foot that is causing an unusual gait due to the Charcot foot.
Patients with the Charcot deformity are inclined to have skin break downs which turn into sores and get worse if proper attention is not given to them. To avoid the risk of amputation, the CROW boot is prescribed.
The C.R.O.W. can help to provide support to a Charcot foot with a specially designed padding on the inside that helps to absorb shock to the tender areas. This brace is constructed to allow the sores as well as the whole foot to heal.
People who cannot afford the cost of the CROW boot are willing to wear diabetic shoes hoping that they would provide relief to their feet with open sores or Charcot deformity. It is important for them to understand that a C.R.O.W. can help to reduce movement at the sites with the foot defect while helping the sores to heal without abrasions.
OBTAINING A C.R.O.W
When my podiatrist recommended the C.R.O.W. for me, he gave my husband a prescription and printed directions for a licensed Orthopedic Braces and Prosthetics specialist in whom he has confidence. The specialist made a mold of my leg and fabricated the brace to suit my requirements.
At that time I had medical insurance so I presented my card and we were happy to realize that the insurance paid 80 % of the cost. The Specialist educated me on the use and care of my orthotics and assured me that I can return as often as necessary if I had problems with them.
I preferred the C.R.O.W. rather than the Plaster of Paris casts which I had to keep on for at least two months at a time. There was an instance when the cast was causing abrasions on my foot and created more problems for the Podiatrist who then had to take care of skin breaking down and resulting in sores.
My left foot is now showing signs of Charcot so I have been using an AFO ( Ankle-Foot Orthosis - a type of short-leg Brace to help support a weak ankle and keep it from rolling side to side.)
My Podiatrist and I are trying our very best to avoid it developing to the condition of the right foot. If that does not work, I will need a C.R.O.W.
If my Charcot foot deformity on my right foot had been diagnosed earlier, the CROW boot would have been more helpful. I had to undergo Charcot foot reconstruction surgery for internal fixation.
I now have 17 screws in my right foot holding as many metatarsal bones as possible together because we did not pick up the Charcot foot problem in time. Hopefully, not again!
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