Crutches: How to use

Why do I need crutches?

Crutches are used so you can walk after a leg injury or after a procedure is done on your leg so that weight bearing forces are reduced. They can be used if only one leg is injured, and their use requires some upper body strength.

How do I choose the right crutches?

Your crutches should be about 2 inches under your armpits when you are standing straight. The handles should be about hip height and so your elbows are bent when you are using them.

Make sure there is adequate padding on the top and handholds so they are comfortable to use.

How do I use crutches?

Walking: Put both crutches in front of you and follow by a hop forward on your good leg ensuring your injured leg is not allowed to bear weight. Make sure when using the crutches they don't press into your armpits and instead use your arms to absorb some of the weight.

Chairs: To get up out of your chair lift your injured leg and hold both crutches in one hand. Put your other hand on the seat and use your good leg and your supporting hand to push up and off the chair to a standing position.

Stairs: The method of going up stairs can depend on whether there is a handrail or not. When there are no rails stand close to the step, bring your good foot to the step above then follow with your crutches.

With a handrail you can hold both crutches in one hand and the handrail in the other. Again bring your good foot to the step above then follow with your crutches.

When you are going down stairs put your crutches down on the step below and then while holding your injured leg up, hop down to the step below.

Stairs can be challenging as it requires soem flexibility and upper body strength.


16 February, 2012