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Author Topic: tips on crutches  (Read 2737 times)

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Offline cynthiab4

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tips on crutches
« on: June 18, 2007, 07:34:49 PM »
Hey guys, just wanted to get some advice on how to use crutches properly. I am having surgery on torn quad tendon and torn meniscus on wed.  i have to stay overnight. but i fell last year after my lr was done on my steps. just curious if any of you have any ideas to make me overcome my fears of them now.  dad suggested putting a ramp in the garage for me but that looks doubtful since its two days away thanks for any advice!

Offline Nettan

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Re: tips on crutches
« Reply #1 on: June 18, 2007, 07:37:31 PM »
A ramp can be slippy. Start walking with crutches now and practice before surgery.
Surgery 6 times left knee torn meniscus, RSDS,chondromalacia, nervdamage cause constant nervpain,chronic inflamm.
Spinaldamage wheeler 100%.
Right knee damaged aug-06, use brace surgery 4/9-07.LCL tear.

redtoblack

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Re: tips on crutches
« Reply #2 on: June 18, 2007, 07:52:38 PM »
I would worry about how slick a ramp could be.  I had three flights of stairs to get up and down after my surgery and I found it easiest to put both of the crutches under the arm of my bad side and use them as my leg as I went up/down the stairs.  It actually worked really well.  I wish you the best of luck.  And like Nettan said, try and get in some practice before the surgery.

Jordan

Offline cynthiab4

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Re: tips on crutches
« Reply #3 on: June 18, 2007, 08:20:44 PM »
thanks i will start practicing. i just am nervous about falling. already slipped withought them on friday and fell. im not so light so kinda hurts lol. but i will def start to repractice on the steps!

Offline jathib

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Re: tips on crutches
« Reply #4 on: June 18, 2007, 10:55:34 PM »
If you're staying in the hospital overnight you'll likely be having someone from physical therapy coming to show you how to maneuver with crutches. They usually have a set of stairs for you to practice on. When I had my PKR my doctor wouldn't sign me out until PT had come to see me even though I've been on crutches more times than I can count.

Offline cynthiab4

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Re: tips on crutches
« Reply #5 on: June 19, 2007, 03:04:03 AM »
thanks for advice i was hoping that they would show me the proper way of going up and down on them. not being able to put weight on it will be hard im sure. well thanks again!

Offline costumer

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Re: tips on crutches
« Reply #6 on: June 19, 2007, 06:09:42 PM »
man, have I had a lot of practice on crutches! heck, my very first op - LR - the OS wouldn't let me off them until I could lift 60lbs!!!! He admitted it was excessive, but he wanted my leg strong. And my parents bought into it (I was 18).  ::)

I've got lots of tips for crutching.

comfort:
      Check the hand grips, some of the foam that is used can really dry out your hands. I made little flannel wrappers for mine. Also covered the top pad as well because the foam kept grabbing and pulling my hair! Ok, so the flannel matched my bathrobe and made the PTs chuckle about my 'set'  ;D . works great, has lasted 20 years.

      Make sure the crutches are sized properly! You'd think this was basic, but I've seen people come through PT with their crutches all wonky. I was taught that the top crutch pad should be a hand-with from your armpit, but now they're claiming about 2". hand on the grip should be gently relaxed bend, not straight stiff.

    Never lean your body weight on the top pads (well, we'll get real: don't do it much, and certainly don't use them that way), there's too many nerves and lymph nodes in the armpit to handle that. Stand up straight.

Walking:

  Here's a website that talks about sizing, walking, stairs... <http://www.footphysicians.com/footankleinfo/crutches.htm>

    The biggest issue I see with people trying to walk, is that they keep doing this 'hesitation step' as if they were graduating or getting married, and then wonder why they are so exhausted! The crutches swing with the bad leg, and when you step with the good leg make sure you take a regular pace-length step through the crutches! Heck, you can just about run with them when you get practiced. If you only step up to the crutches, you'll take forever and tire quickly.
       Stand up straight (butt tucked in), and don't watch your feet - look ahead, or at least a few paces ahead at the ground (don't want to trip!)

Stairs:
   Some people sit down and bump down the stairs, some people hold both crutches together, out of the way, and straightleg down the stairs holding a handrail. weightbearing on crutches going downstairs takes a lot of balance and practice (first time I did it: on crutches too tall for me, I fell and broke my wrist). They should have you practicing this in PT so you learn balance! Basically, hold the bad leg out in front, try your best not to lean over much and put the crutches (on each side - normal) down a step, then step down with the good leg. repeat for each step. Must work on balance to not lean forward and fall! It can be done safely, lots of people do it.
   Up is easy: straight-leg up the stairs. down is the balancing act.

Doors:
   If you don't have anyone to hold a door for you (hey, in college.. I didn't even have anyone to help when I tipped over and fell out of my wheelchair! doors? bah), push/pull the door as necessary, jam the closest crutch in the way to keep it from closing, then you can swing through and bring your crutch back as the door closes, or get a little closer to open the door some more to go through. I found that a lot of times I ended up with a little 'half-twirl' to get through the door and keep control fo the crutch. sounds wierd, but works.


       Good luck with the repair job! and I hope some of this helps.

          -Judy
Dx: bi-lat subluxating patellae w/chondromalacia 4/1977
6/78 LR - LK
1/80 TTT-Hauser LK; 12/80 Proximal Realignment Mystery- RK
1/82 Maquet TTT- LK
11/06 Meniscectomy; Mild OA- RK, 12/06 Meniscectomy; Mod OA- LK
3/07 Bi-lat severe arthritis
9/18/07 bi-lat TKR

Offline TwoBadKneesUSA

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Re: tips on crutches
« Reply #7 on: June 19, 2007, 07:02:28 PM »
This might help for stairs.  I was taught down with the bad, up with the good.  This means put the bad leg first going down, put crutches down on step first.  Then going up put your good leg on the step above and use it to pull the bad leg up.  It takes a bit of practice, but doeable.

'83 lt knee scope
'88 lt knee LR
'89 rt knee LR (6 mos. after left)
'05 rt knee scope (clean up)
7/5/07 - scope, LR left, right clean
3/19/08 - LR failed, Supartz failed
http://www.kneeguru.co.uk/KNEEtalk/index.php?topic=47974.0
8/21/08 - new OS apt
8/5/09 - TTT, LR, PFJR sched.

Offline Annika

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Re: tips on crutches
« Reply #8 on: June 19, 2007, 11:20:37 PM »
I agree with the last posting also practise how to walk backwards! I only say that because if you find yourself unbalanced it's good to know how it works!

Annika
ACL bust 3/3/07 France skiing
ACLr 17/4/07 France
UK & Sweden for May & June 07 rehabbing
Full extension at around 3 1/2 months
First heel to bum at just under 5 months

Offline cynthiab4

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Re: tips on crutches
« Reply #9 on: June 20, 2007, 04:36:02 AM »
lol cant walk forwards yet but worth a shot thanks guys! lest than 12 hours i will be in more pain than now hurray! well hopefully this will be the last of my surgerys ill do some pics and a post op after thr thanks again! ;D

Offline TwoBadKneesUSA

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Re: tips on crutches
« Reply #10 on: June 20, 2007, 04:47:12 PM »
Good luck to you.  Just don't try any handstands on the crutches (I used to do these as a kid.). ;D

Unforunatly the longer you use them the better you get.  Or maybe that's a good thing.

Anyhow...take care.

Milly
'83 lt knee scope
'88 lt knee LR
'89 rt knee LR (6 mos. after left)
'05 rt knee scope (clean up)
7/5/07 - scope, LR left, right clean
3/19/08 - LR failed, Supartz failed
http://www.kneeguru.co.uk/KNEEtalk/index.php?topic=47974.0
8/21/08 - new OS apt
8/5/09 - TTT, LR, PFJR sched.

Offline Kaputt_Knee

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Re: tips on crutches
« Reply #11 on: June 20, 2007, 08:38:18 PM »
Do you still get issued with under arm crutches then in the USA? They really suck in my opinion - such hard work. If you can opt for elbow crutches they are much easier and intuitive to use and lighter- OK You cannot lean on them from time to time but you are not supposed to any way  ;) If this is the norm in the US I now understand why you guys want rid of them so quickly.

Good Luck and a swift recovery . Take care when you start moving around


Sue
1989 big trauma R. knee - sorted
1990-2004 3ACL recons and 20+ arthroscopies -RK
3/06 LK ACL torn!
4/06 ACL recon, kneecap broken
09 &10/06- 2x meniscus trims
3/07 - Notch Plastic & Lateral Release
14/8/08 complete revision ACL plus LCL/PLC recon
6/2/09 returned to skiing! Whoopee

Offline shortyclairebear

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Re: tips on crutches
« Reply #12 on: June 20, 2007, 08:59:45 PM »
hey there!!
i hope the operation went well for you today!!
please take care on those crutches!! (esp on the stairs!)
i fell down our stairs 5 weeks post op,i personally recommend trying to go up and down the stairs on your bum if that is possible,i usually did this and the one day i tried using my crutches instead i fell!!
i sat on my bum to go up and pulled myself up by putting my weight through my arms to the next step and so on,my leg was out straight in front of me (as i had a full leg brace on for six weeks),to come down stick your leg out again and "bounce" yourself down each steps pulling your self down step by step with your arms.
i tied my crutches together with a hair bobble to keep them together and moved them down with me.
hope you are doing okay!!
claire  ;D
i had a motorcycle accident-landed on right knee!(mar 05)
...arthroscopy - 4th feb 06.
...VMO Advancement,LR+JMedial reefing - 24th jan 07.
...28 feb 07 i fell down 14 stairs.....more pain and stress!
...now at PT working on ROM and strenghening

Offline costumer

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Re: tips on crutches
« Reply #13 on: June 21, 2007, 02:18:54 PM »
Do you still get issued with under arm crutches then in the USA? They really suck in my opinion - such hard work. If you can opt for elbow crutches they are much easier and intuitive to use and lighter- OK You cannot lean on them from time to time but you are not supposed to any way  ;) If this is the norm in the US I now understand why you guys want rid of them so quickly.

       Yup, usually. At least they're aluminum now - although I'm still fond of my old wooden ones  ;D

         -Judy
Dx: bi-lat subluxating patellae w/chondromalacia 4/1977
6/78 LR - LK
1/80 TTT-Hauser LK; 12/80 Proximal Realignment Mystery- RK
1/82 Maquet TTT- LK
11/06 Meniscectomy; Mild OA- RK, 12/06 Meniscectomy; Mod OA- LK
3/07 Bi-lat severe arthritis
9/18/07 bi-lat TKR

Offline jathib

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Re: tips on crutches
« Reply #14 on: June 21, 2007, 02:22:21 PM »
Eeesh, I tried the elbow crutches and couldn't stand them. I rarely see people using those.