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HF 8146

Using Your Charcot Restraint Orthotic (CROW) at Home

Purpose of the CROW

A CROW (Charcot Restraint Orthotic Walker) is given to patients diagnosed with Charcot foot. The two-piece design provides complete/total contact over the shin, calf and foot. It reduces motion in the ankle and foot to help prevent further injury. It will not correct your deformity. The inside is fully padded to help protect your skin. The bottom is covered with a shoe sole material, so you do not need a shoe. 

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Wearing Your CROW

Your CROW should not hurt to wear. When you start wearing it, slowly increase the amount of time you are up with it on. Always wear a tall sock under the CROW. The sock wicks sweat away from your skin and helps prevent rubbing. Check your skin often for sores. This is very important if you have partial or no feeling in your foot. On day one, check your skin after an hour of wear. Use a mirror to see the bottom of your foot and the back of your leg. Report any red marks on your skin that don’t fade after 30 minutes as soon as you can so changes can be made. 

How to Put on Your CROW

Put on a tall cotton sock. Make sure there are no wrinkles in the sock. A crease or wrinkle in the sock will press into your skin and cause redness.

Separate the front and back pieces. Place foot inside back portion and slide heel all the way down and to the back.

Put on the front piece. Make sure the plastic overlaps the back piece.

Fasten the strap down around the ankle first. Then, fasten all remaining straps. The straps must be tightly fastened. You shouldn’t be able to wiggle them up and down over the plastic.

Guidelines

You should always wear proper footwear on your other foot. You may want to get an Evenup shoe leveler to wear on the outside of your other shoe. You can find and purchase these online. Stop wearing the CROW if you have red marks that don’t go away, bruises or blisters that appear on your skin.

Do not sleep in your CROW unless your doctor has told you to do so. 

Cleaning Your CROW

Wipe off the outside and inside with a damp, soapy cloth or a cloth dampened with rubbing alcohol. Wipe it with a towel and then let it fully air dry before putting it back on. You may scrub the smooth side with a brush. Let the straps air dry. The hook fastener will hold best if all the lint is removed (a dental pick or safety pin works well to lift lint up from Velcro). 

Do not put the brace under water as it may harm the metal fasteners and straps. Keep the brace away from excessive heat to prevent damage to the plastic and foam.

When to Call 

  • If your neurological symptoms get worse call the provider who prescribed the CROW. Symptoms include: 

    • More numbness

    • Tingling

    • Pain

    • Less able to move or do normal activities

  • If you have concerns or need adjustments call the Orthotics Clinic.

Who to Call

UW Health Orthotics and Prosthetics Clinic

6220 University Ave.

Middleton, WI 53562

(608) 263-0583 or (844) 894-9940

Middleton Rehab Orthotics and Prosthetics

6630 University Ave. 

Middleton, WI 53562

(608) 263-8412 or (800) 323-8942

UW Health at The American Center Orthotics and Prosthetics

4602 Eastpark Blvd. 

Madison, WI 53718

(608) 440-6440 or (844) 607-4800


After hours, nights, weekends, and holidays, this will give you the paging operator. Ask for the resident on call for your clinic. Leave your name and phone number with the area code. The doctor will call you back.