Crutches become our best friends whenever we undergo a surgical procedure or are involved in an accident. They help us stand,walk and move without putting pressure on the injured area and significantly speed up the recovery process.They are essential assistive devices that greatly benefit the user with mobility.
Here’s everything you need to know about picking the right pair of crutches for yourself, their types, and how to use them properly.
When will you need crutches?
Crutches are generally required after a person undergoes surgery or is involved in an accident that injured their leg. Some common injuries include -
1.Sports Injuries -Various sports injuries, including sprains or ligament tears, require players to use walking crutches during their recovery. It provides a safe way of mobility and minimizes accidents that can hinder recovery.
2.Bone Fractures - Crutches prove incredibly useful during bone fractures in the foot, ankle, leg, or knee.
3.Ligament or Tendon injuries - Ligament injuries such as ACL, LCL, MCL, PCL, and tendon ruptures require using elbow crutches during recovery.
Types of Crutches
Underarm Crutches - Underarm crutches are the most common type of crutches in our country. They are placed under your arms and are very easy to use. However, while they allow the user to maintain proper balance while moving, the continuous use of the upper body can cause a lot of fatigue to the user.
Forearm crouches(or elbow crutches) - These crutches are more common in the UK, Canada, and Europe. They are generally used as a long-term mobility aid for people with a disability. Users may take some time to get used to Forearm Crutches, but once they do, they find them easier to use than underarm crutches.
Forearm Support Crutches - Forearm support crutches are similar to forearm crutches but offer much more support. They are generally advised for people with less upper body strength or with conditions such as arthritis.
Picking the right kind of crutches largely depends upon the type of injury or surgery from which the individual is recovering. Some people might require more than one type of crutches during their recovery. If you’re not sure which type to pick, consult your physician.
Which type of Crutches is the best for you?
Underarm Crutches vs Forearm Crutches has been an ongoing debate. While doctors from the US favor Underarm Crutches, doctors from the UK, Canada, and Europe prefer Forearm Crutches.
According to walk easy,underarm crutches have more cons than forearm crutches.Some of these include-
Since underarm crutches are longer than forearm crutches, they make walking up or down stairs difficult.
Underarm crutches are also less convenient to use than forearm crutches.
Most users shift their weight on the underarm pads, which causes discomfort and makes walking harder.
On the other hand, forearm crutches are relatively easy to use. Some pros include -
They are shorter and, thus, can be easily used on the stairs.
They serve as a superior walking aid for long-term users.
The only downside to using forearm crutch is that they are slightly more complex than underarm crutches and the users need a little time to get used to them.
How to use underarm crutches properly?
Keeping all this in mind, there may be situations where using an underarm crutch will suit you better. In that case, make sure you use it right. Follow the given steps -
Adjust the crutch height so that the top of the crutch is 1.5-2 inches below your armpit.
The hand grip should be at the hip level.
While using the crutches, your elbows should be slightly bent.
Support the body's weight with your arms, and do not rest your body on the underarm pads.
Follow these steps to make sure you use your underarm crutches properly. Finding the right height may take some time, but it will get easier and more comfortable when you get used to it.
Some other tips for using crutches
Ask your physician if you can bear weight on the injured leg, and if you can, how much. For example, an individual may have a severe injury and thus may be Non-weight bearing. This means the person cannot bear any weight on the injured leg. Other cases include partial weight-bearing or weight-bearing as tolerated, allowing the person to take a certain percentage of weight or as much weight as they can tolerate.
Make your elbow crutches more comfortable by supporting your weight with your hands. Adjust the height of your underarm crutches in such a way that the hand grips are around your hips.
Use your forearm crutches as long as your physician tells you to, even if you feel you’re recovering fast.
If you have any questions regarding Crutches or any other product you may be interested in, please contact us at : Hope Home Medical (918)-967-2800 or click the link for our website hopehms.com .
Hope Home Medical is A Service Disabled Veteran Owned Small Business.
Remember to always consult with your physician or health car provider