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Author Topic: Help need advice on how to be more comfortable with crutches for 6 weeks  (Read 6351 times)

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Offline Mitidai

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A year ago I had microfracture on my left knee and spent six weeks on crutches.  Yesterday I had microfracture on my right knee and have to use the wicked things again for six weeks.   :'(

Last year, my hands became sore and raw on the palm, my back hurt and I had bruises on my upper sides.  After two days right now, my hands hurt, my side hurts and I'm on a heating pad for my lower back.  I have solved the hand problem with a thick pair of socks taped to the part where my hand goes.  I tried that with the part of the crutches that goes under my arms but then the socks are too bulky and I feel like I could slide off the crutches.  As far as my lower back I had my husband measure my height and set the crutches to that height, but I can't bear weight on my right side so my left lower back is hurting from taking all my weight.

I am not looking forward to the next six weeks because I know how I felt last year by the time I was done with them.  If anyone has any advice on how to make a crutches experience more comfortable and tolerable I would greatly appreciate it.  I think they should redesign the evil things myselft.

JAN
9-2002 medial menisectomy left knee
11-2003 lateral menisectomy and microfracture left knee
11-2003 fractured cartilage left knee
lateral menisectomy right knee 1-2005
microfracture right knee 1-2005
tkr left knee 1-2006
arthroscopy and lateral femoral chondroplasty 9-2006

Offline cinderamy

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Re: Help need advice on how to be more comfortable with crutches for 6 weeks
« Reply #1 on: January 30, 2005, 04:04:04 AM »

Jan- I have spent the last 8 months walking with my hands and I can completly understand the pain involved in doing so. Just 3 weeks ago I graduated to fore-arm crutches and they are the best. I feel like I have so much more balance then with regular crutches and more freedom then the walker. They do reek of "perminant problem," but honestly I think it is worth it!  I rented a pair for a week and then had the Medical Supple order me a pair, you could probably get away with renting them if you only need them for 6 weeks. I have yet to figure out the back pain, my lower back kills as well and also my right hip (my problem involves my rt knee also). I think the hip has to do with the way I have to lift it to walk. Anyway, I think you you give the fore-arms a try.

Good luck, Amy
LR and scope on both knees in 1990, Fulkerson,LR & scope on 6-10-04, infection clean-up 6-21-04, manipulation 8-16-04, partial meniscectomy, scope and manipulation 12-8-04, neurostimulator3-7-05 and total knee replacement 6-7-05, total knee reconstruction 10-7-2008

Offline Mitidai

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Re: Help need advice on how to be more comfortable with crutches for 6 weeks
« Reply #2 on: January 30, 2005, 08:09:41 PM »
Amy,

Thanks for the advice.  I think I'll look into those types of crutches.  I've seen people use them before.   I'm sorry you've been on them for 8 months.  That would be torture.  I'll think of you as I try to get through my six weeks.   Will you be able to ditch the crutches after a total knee?  I decorated mine up with stickers.  People will probably wonder why a 49 year old woman has all these stickers on her crutches but I'm trying to stay positive about them.

Hang in there
JAN

9-2002 medial menisectomy left knee
11-2003 lateral menisectomy and microfracture left knee
11-2003 fractured cartilage left knee
lateral menisectomy right knee 1-2005
microfracture right knee 1-2005
tkr left knee 1-2006
arthroscopy and lateral femoral chondroplasty 9-2006

shadehawk

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Re: Help need advice on how to be more comfortable with crutches for 6 weeks
« Reply #3 on: January 30, 2005, 08:24:55 PM »
You could get crutch cozies.

http://www.crutchcozies.com/home.php

Offline Heather M.

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Re: Help need advice on how to be more comfortable with crutches for 6 weeks
« Reply #4 on: January 30, 2005, 09:13:35 PM »
Just a comment on having bruises on your sides...the crutches aren't supposed to touch your sides.  Is it possible to see a PT and get a primer on proper use of the crutches.  I'm not going to tell you that they will be *comfortable* if you use them the right way, but they shouldn't leave you bruised on your ribs/sides. 

As for the hands, cushions are the best way to avoid that. 

Another option is the forearm crutches--though I can't use these at all due to a torn rotator cuff in my right shoulder.  A good alternative would be a walker...not very glam, but they work great to redistribute the weight along the entire upper body, instead of just your poor arms.

When I had my last surgery, it was in a high altitude ski town--Vail, Colorado.  The town sits at about 8100 feet (give or take, depending on where you are in town) and I was coming there from Phoenix in the low desert.  So I was distinctly woozy and had headaches and other problems due to the altitude--to say nothing of the pain meds and after-effects of the anesthesia.  Then there was the whole snow and ice thing--it was December in the Rockies, after all.  When my doctor said I'd have to be completely NWB, I looked at the situation and thought, "I'm going to kill myself on these crutches."  So I rented a wheelchair--it made life much easier.  The town wasn't built around disabled souls, so it was tough to navigate the sidewalks and go to restaurants...but much better than fighting the altitude and such on crutches.  And it spared my back, which was already being stressed by the CPM machine I was using for 20 hours/day.

Heather
Scope #1: LR, part. menisectomy w/cyst, chondroplasty
#2-#5: Lysis of adhesions/scar tissue, AIR, patellar tendon debridement, infections, MUA, insufflation
#6: IT band release / Z-Plasty, synovectomy, LOA/AIR, chondroplasty
2006 Arthrofibrosis, patella baja
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Offline rozzzie

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Re: Help need advice on how to be more comfortable with crutches for 6 weeks
« Reply #5 on: January 30, 2005, 10:08:21 PM »
We had an old sheep skin rug that I repurposed for padding on the top and on the hand grips.  Double layer on the top with the rough 'suede' side out - makes them a little less slippery.  :)  My PT had me hold the tops lightly between the arm and the chest.  NOT under the armpit! ( did that when a DR gave me the crutches set too high and I damaged the radial and ulna nerves - I have carpal tunnel symptoms on all the fingers ).  I was told that the top of the crutch when you are standing straight should be about 3 - 4 inches below the armpit and your arm should be bent (I think she said about 30 o from straight).  Worked for me.  Crutches are not fun.  I prefer a walker for any length of time, or a wheel chair.

Best luck on your journey to good knees.

Huggs 8)
Rozzzie
OA of knees since 85 
93 scrambled ankle - PE
98 PE
99 anlke fusion
04 hit by car broken leg, ribs AC joint seperation
RTKR  Dec 1 2005
LTKR. IM rod removal March 16, 2006

Offline Mitidai

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Re: Help need advice on how to be more comfortable with crutches for 6 weeks
« Reply #6 on: January 31, 2005, 09:10:39 PM »
Thanks everyone for all the advice. 

I called my os this morning and they absolutely want me on the under the arm crutches I am using.  I then made an appointment with my chiropractor this afternoon because my lower back is just killing me because of the crutches.

I also went on line and ordered the crutch cozies so hopefully all this will help.  It's going to be a long six weeks so I guess I'd better toughen up a bit.

JAN
9-2002 medial menisectomy left knee
11-2003 lateral menisectomy and microfracture left knee
11-2003 fractured cartilage left knee
lateral menisectomy right knee 1-2005
microfracture right knee 1-2005
tkr left knee 1-2006
arthroscopy and lateral femoral chondroplasty 9-2006

Offline smiley196

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Re: Help need advice on how to be more comfortable with crutches for 6 weeks
« Reply #7 on: January 31, 2005, 11:10:28 PM »
I spent almost 11 weeks on crutches and I knwo they are no fun! I suggest taking old towls are wrapping them around the armpit section of the crutch...otherwise youll get wicked bruises. Try to put most of the weight on your arms/hands and not your armpits. And aluminum crutches are more comfy than wooden ones! All the best,
Krista
*16 years old*
Left Knee:
Torn:PCL, ACL, MCL
SEVERAL dislocations
Grade 3 Chondromalacia
Medial & Lateral Meniscus tears
Plica Syndrome
Sept 14th 2005-(LK)ACL recon, TTT, menisectomy,plica removal

May 26th/06-Torn ACL(RK)

June 14th/06-(LK)ACL graft recon, screw removal, menisectomy

Offline Linds

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Re: Help need advice on how to be more comfortable with crutches for 6 weeks
« Reply #8 on: February 01, 2005, 02:36:21 AM »
The longest I ever spent on Crutches was 4 weeks, but I hear you. However Heather M is right, they shouldn't bruise your sides, cause your weight should be on your hands. When you are standing up right, there should be 3 inches between the top of the crutch and your arm pit, so that when you put the weight onto your hands, Your armpits are not leaning on the crutches.  Does that make sense?  I made puffs for the handgrips on my crutches out of fake sheep skin fabric... it really helped. The best thing I found for my back was to stay off crutches as much as possible. I know sometimes this isn't possible.
I hope that helped and goodluck
Hugs
Linds
1997 Scope RK
2002 LR RK
2002 Scope and hematoma evac RK
2004 LR LK
May 06 Fall from Horse, partial ACL tear and meniscus injury, Tibial plateau injury
2007 Scope, Plica Excision and Debride LK
2009/2010- Possibly Ankylosing Spondylitis?