At Biodesign we are highly experienced in the treatment of Charcot foot through the use of a C.R.O.W walker. We have collaborated closely with physicians to design an effective, durable and easy-to-use brace.
The acronym C.R.O.W. stands for Charcot Resistant Orthotic Walker. A C.R.O.W. is a custom made Orthotic Brace made from a cast of your foot and leg to treat Charcot Foot & Ankle. The purpose of the C.R.O.W walker is to stop the deforming forces on the bones when walking just like a cast would. The C.R.O.W. can be removed for sleep and bathing and is to be worn during all weight bearing activity. NO Exceptions! The duration of the treatment is variable but if the diagnosis is made early before severe deformity occurs and the C.R.O.W is worn properly then the outcome is much better and there is reduced risk of amputation.
Charcot foot is a condition that causes weakening of the bones in the foot, and most commonly occurs in people who have significant nerve damage (neuropathy) associated with diabetes. The bones are weakened enough to fracture during normal activity, and with continued walking the foot eventually changes shape as a result of the fractures, causing severe deformity. As the disorder progresses, the joints collapse and the foot takes on an abnormal shape, such as a rocker-bottom appearance. The altered foot shape has an inappropriate weight bearing surface, putting the foot at risk for pressure ulcers.
Charcot foot is a very serious medical condition that can lead to severe deformity, disability, and potentially amputation. Because of its seriousness, it is important that patients with diabetes—a disease often associated with neuropathy—take preventive measures and seek immediate care if signs or symptoms appear.
Charcot foot develops as a result of neuropathy, which decreases sensation and the ability to feel temperature, pain, or trauma. Because of diminished sensation, the patient may continue to walk—making the injury worse. Generally it is believed that there is a increase in blood supply to the foot and ankle resulting in bone being reabsorbed faster than new bone is created coupled with mechanical limitations such as tight Achilles tendon bone destruction occurs.
People who suffer with long term neuropathy are at higher risk for developing Charcot foot. In addition, neuropathic patients with a tight Achilles tendon have been shown to have a increase tendency to develop Charcot foot.