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Alternative to Crutches for Foot Injury
Have you injured your foot? Do you have an ankle sprain, achilles tendon injury, or needed foot surgery for plantar fasciitis? If so your doctor might have suggested you be put on crutches. If you have spent any time on traditional crutches you know they can be a pain, literally. Then you are in need of an alternative to crutches for foot injury.
Most if not all of us have used crutches at one time or another due to a lower leg injury. I remember my first time using crutches after I suffered a bad ankle sprain playing basketball in high school, man did that hurt. My doctor had me wear a serious ankle brace and prescribed me a pair of brand new shiny crutches. I used those crutches for about 2 painstaking weeks. The day I finally was able to put weight back on my ankle and get rid of those crutches was awesome. Fast forward fifteen years and know there are some awesome crutch alternatives, that are making the traditional pair of crutches go the way of the dinosaurs.
Types of Alternatives for Crutches
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Knee Scooters or Knee Walkers – The knee walker or scooter is a scooter that has a knee pad and wheels. It allows you to place your knee on the pad and roll yourself around. I am sure most of you have seen a few of these at sporting events or theme parks, as they allow you to move much more freely and easily than crutches. One great example of this is the Drive Medical Dual Pad Steerable Knee Walker.
Hands Free Crutches – are a new group of crutches that have come on the medical scene in the last few years. These might be some of the most innovative additions to non weight bearing recovery. The best example of a hands free crutch we have seen is the iWALK 3.0 Hands Free Crutch
Why do we need an alternative crutch?
So there are several reasons why you might want an alternative to the traditional crutch.
- Pain – traditional crutches can be painful. They really can cause underarm and forearm pain if you happen to be on crutches for any length of time.
- Need to Carry Things – If you are using traditional crutches, you can’t really carry anything, since both your hands are busy holding onto the crutch handles. With Knee Scooters or Knee Walkers you oftentimes have a basket that is attached to the front of the device so you can carry extra gear.
- Awkwardness – Have you tried to use crutches recently? They sure are awkward. I mean you have to do some type of tripod hop maneuver which is really isn’t a great way to move around. Scooting with a knee walker or walking more naturally with a knee crutch is a much better way of getting around.
- In the Way – Traditional crutches always seem to be getting in the way of people and things. I was at a play the other day, and this poor girl came hobbling in on an old pair of crutches and when she sat down in her seat she had no place to store the crutches and was even asked to move them because she was blocking the row.
- Can’t use both hands – With traditional crutches, you can’t use both hands, because they need to be on the crutch handles or you risk falling over. With Knee Scooters, Knee Walkers, or Knee Crutches you can use both your hands. While the scooter and walker require you to put on the breaks to use both your hands, you still can. Knee crutches let you use both hands by default which is great when you need to open a door and carry something at the same time.
Why walk when you can scoot?
Knee walkers or knee scooters are one of my favorite crutch alternatives for lower leg injuries. Just like a crutch a knee walker or knee scooter works by keeping all of your weight off your injured leg. But unlike a crutch, a knee walker or knee scooter places your weight on your uninjured leg and shin instead of your forearms or underarms. This will help alleviate some of the pain of using crutches. Who really doesn’t like scooting around instead of walking. It makes having an injury just a little more tolerable.
Benefits of Knee Walkers
- It is ideal for individuals recovering from foot surgery, breaks, sprains, and other foot injury issues.
- Knee walkers can be steered for increased maneuverability
- Adds stability and support for your leg
- Knee walkers are a safe, comfortable mobility option that will support your recovery.
Here are a few examples of knee walkers that are currently available
When you need to use both your hands
Carry a cup of coffee. Walk your dog. Push a shopping cart. Cook in your own kitchen. Get back to work. Live independently. That is what hands-free crutches are all about.
It gives you hands-free and hopefully pain-free mobility for below the knee non-weight bearing injuries. More importantly, it gives you back your independent, functional lifestyle. I know when I had to use crutches years ago, it was a pain not being able to use your hands. It was hard opening doors and using the phone. With hands-free crutches, you lose all the inconvenience of having to hold on to the crutches but maintain the stability and support you need to help recover.
Hands free crutches benefits
- Maintain a natural walking like motion when recovering
- Maintains stability and support but allows the use of both hands
- No underarm, hand, or forearm pain
There truly is only one good example of a knee crutch and that is the iWalk 3.0.
While the iWALK3.0 is an awesome crutch alternative it’s not for everyone. If you find yourself fitting into one of these categories I would not recommend purchasing the iWalk 3.0 and instead go with a different crutch alternative.
- Are shorter than 4′ 10″, then iWalk 3.0 is not a good fit
- If you have a knee injury or upper leg injury, and proper knee crutch fitting is needed for best use.
- Suffer from balancing problems. In fact, the manufactures of iWalk 3.0 have a stair and balance test to make sure the iWalk 3.0 will work for you.
If you have an injury where you think you might need crutches, it is important to see a doctor for a checkup. You deserve to feel better and get back to your day-to-day activities. With the right care and treatment plan, you will be back on health feet in no time.
- Do you have plantar fasciitis check out What Helps Plantar Fasciitis.
- Have you ever used KT Tape? Read KT Tape for Plantar Fasciitis Review. I have personally used KT Tape to help with my own plantar fasciitis and achilles tendonitis.
- As always, remember RICE it helps.