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CROW Walker (Charcot Restraint Orthotic Walker)

A CROW walker is prescribed for patients who have for ulcers or insensate feet.  The orthosis has two pieces, like a clamshell, and covers the entire foot and calf of the leg, resembling a ski boot.  Although it can be somewhat bulky, the CROW gives tremendous support by preventing foot and ankle movement.  It is fully padded on the inside, with a removable insert that can be changed or adjusted.  A shoe is not worn with the CROW walker.

How to Apply the CROW Walker

  1. Put on a long, thin, seamless cotton sock or cotton stockinette
  2. Slide the CROW walker into position, and place heel squarely in the bottom of the footplate.  Make sure the heel is all the way back and in contact with the bottom of the footplate.
  3. Apply the front section of the orthosis, making sure that the sides overlap the bottom section.
  4. Apply the instep strap on the front side of the ankle, and then fasten all the remaining straps.
  5. Check the skin for redness that does not go away within fifteen minutes.  Slight redness is common over the instep, and under the ball of the foot.
  6. Be sure to wear proper footwear on the opposite foot at all times.

On the first day, only wear the brace for one hour at a time.  After one hour, remove the brace and check skin for redness.  Some small, light red marks may be noticed, but should go away within thirty minutes.  If the red marks persist, or if there is any scratching, bruising, or blistering, do not put the brace back on.  Call immediately to schedule an appointment with orthotist.

As long as the skin appears normal, wait one hour before putting the brace on again.  Continue to put the brace on for an hour at a time for the first day, always checking the skin after each hour.

On the second day, wear the brace for two hours before removing it to check the skin for redness.  If the skin appears normal, continue putting the brace on for two hours at a time, checking the skin after each two hour segment.  If the skin remains normal, gradually increase the wearing time by an hour each day, always checking the skin after each wearing time.

Care and Maintenance

To remove body oils and residue from the inside of the CROW walker, spray rubbing alcohol on the interior and wipe it dry.  A damp towel or anti-bacterial soap or towelettes may also be used to clean the orthosis.  To prevent any damage, do not immerse the orhosis in water and do not expose it to excessive heat.

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