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Author Topic: Crutch Options?  (Read 1719 times)

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Offline pegleg1

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Crutch Options?
« on: July 22, 2004, 01:03:31 AM »
I just got back from the OS today. Even though everything is looking relativly normal with my knee, they say I'll be on crutches for at least two more months.

Right now I'm using conventinal crutches, but they've been used by many other people and are pretty disgusting (the hand grips gross me out so much-there's no way they're sanitary!) I've seen people using forearm crutches and am wondering if it's worth investing in some. They look more comfortable and less invasive, but I don't know if they'll work as well as the conventional crutch for my bum knee. Has anyone tried these? Are they worth getting, or nothing special? I start school in a month on a congested campus, and I need something that can take the wear and tear, and maybe not hurt my underarms so much!

Just looking for some ways to make the next few months less painful, less depressing, and maybe just maybe a bit more fasionable....
LR and MR, femural patella syndrome, full knee dislocation and too many subluxes!

Offline heather k from wales

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Re: Crutch Options?
« Reply #1 on: July 22, 2004, 01:45:11 AM »
Hi,
In UK its standard to get the elbow crutches.  The auxiliary type are thought of as old fashioned and are rarely used here.
I find the elbow crutches great to use.  Easy to get around on and pretty comfortable.  I couldn't imagine using the USA type.
The only problem, is you can get sore or blistered palms of the hands after a few weeks.  I bought a pair of weight lifters gloves to solve that problem.

I bought a new pair off ebay for 8.

Good luck,

Heather ;)
91 Mangled Right knee on trials motorbike
94 Meniscus Repair
95 ACL/LCLrec,notchplasty,bone graft
01 90% Menisectomy
02 Scope
03 ACLrec,LAD
OA,osteophytes
04 Ch'plasty, ACLdeb,Suprapatella mbr ex, haematoma
04 Scope
March 06 Scaphoid op/bone graft
Nov 07 Thyroid Cancer ops x 2, radiation

Offline dm

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Re: Crutch Options?
« Reply #2 on: July 22, 2004, 03:43:24 AM »
If you can't get forearm crutches for a while, I'd recommend wrapping the handgrips with some cheap sponges, and securing them with self stick ace wrap. It bulks up the handgrip, dispersing weight across more of the palm, and would be a more sanitary surface than what you've got. A 50/50 bleach/water mix in a travel size spray bottle, works as a sanitizer, if the germ thing bugs you.

Also make sure that the handgrips are at the right height so that you can lock your elbows. It's easier to "crutch along" if you make sure you can straighten your elbows completely. also make sure that the "armpit" parts of the crutches aren't IN your armpit... you should have 2 fingers width of space between the crutch and your body, otherwise it's a risk of nerve damage... theres a couple big nerves in the armpit that dont like having the crutch on top of them, apparently, from what i was told.

Hope this helps a little...
multiple arthroscopies 2/00,3/01,6/01,1/03, 12/07,10/10. chondromalacia, severe medial joint space narrowing following 3 partial menisectomies, chronic pain problems, kneecap problems, OCD lesion, failed mfx.

Offline whatzmyname

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Re: Crutch Options?
« Reply #3 on: July 22, 2004, 10:57:07 AM »
What my OS suggested is to go to any good sport store and buy the wrapping for tennis racket handles and apply that to you crutch handles. I did it and my crutches are SO COMFORTABLE ;D! Elbow crutches are mainly used nowadays and if you have an auxiliary crutch your doctor is either not up-to-date or the hospital is still getting rid of the old stock.
Torn ligaments due to dislocation
Fractured retropatella (back of kneecap)
Arthroscopy
8/6/2004

Offline lizl

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Re: Crutch Options?
« Reply #4 on: July 23, 2004, 04:23:05 AM »
This thread reminded me of an old thread that I found very helpful in my crutching days:

http://www.kneeguru.co.uk/cgi-bin/KNEEtalk/YaBB.pl?board=2;action=display;num=1043163202

LizL :)
2003: 1/28-29Fell on wet floor,broke kneecap
ORIF(hdwr&immob)
Post-op drug reaction
3/4-5/13 brace
3/21-8/28PT
12/19Hardware removal,scope,partial meniscectomies
2004: More PT
lost job
Settledw/WC Oct
2005: Personal injury lawsuit--reschedulings,failed mediation
2006: settled out of court in March

Offline californianative

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Re: Crutch Options?
« Reply #5 on: July 23, 2004, 07:53:48 AM »
Can you use a walker? I borrowed one from one of my mom's friends after my last surgery and I'll never use crutches again. I could take it in the bathroom with me for support and I could even have a bag on the front to carry stuff. If you think you can, you should really consider trying a walker.
Lisa...a California Native
2003 Scope on RT knee, patella shaving
2004 Scope on RT knee, patella shaving, lateral release, meniscus repair, resurfacing of the bones.

Offline bluedog

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Re: Crutch Options?
« Reply #6 on: July 24, 2004, 01:27:05 AM »
 I posted this under a different topic but here's the gist.

If you can afford it, I suggest forearm crutches (with a closed cuff , they're easier to control) instead of underarm crutches.  They a lot weigh less (then my wooden ones anyway.)(www.walkeasy.com has nice ones and they come in all kinds of colors.) They do take a bit more coordination and upper body strength to use but they make all the difference in the world, espically if your on them for a long time.  I've used underarm crutches on and off for 13 years and I got tired of the sores I'd get under my arms.  The more padding you add the worse it gets.  If you do choose to get forearm ones I suggest that you use the underarm ones til you have good arm strenght with them and then gradually switch over to the forearm ones.  

WalkEasy also sells neoprene grip covers for their forearm crutches.  

Also you can buy replacement crutch pads at medical supply stores and most drugstores in the States.  They wear out over time.  And if you are using used crutches you might want to check the tip too.  It should have some type of tread to it.  They make replacements for them too.

Hope that helps.
Blue
Tore ACL 13yrs ago playing soccer - rehabed, no surgery
Surgery on May 12, 2004 - ACL recon (tibial tendon allograft) 3 medial meniscus tears removed, discovered large OCD (mircofractured)

Offline katie

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Re: Crutch Options?
« Reply #7 on: July 26, 2004, 07:25:37 PM »
You shouldn't be locking your elbow when you walk on your crutches. If you're doing that, you're putting weight on the ends of the bones in your elbow. They're not evolved for doing that.

You should have a few degrees of flexion in your elbow -- then the work is being done by the muscles.

Forearm crutches are FAR easier to deal with. Especially if you get ones with moulded handgrips -- they spread the load across your palm better. They're shorter which means they fit in cars easier, they're lighter, they're easier to handle on stairs. (After some years now of being on and off crutches I've got to the point where I can climb stairs two at a time. None of this trying to work out which leg to lead with...)

They work just fine. They actually need a lot less coordination to use. And you can walk sideways on them, which is useful for narrow gaps.

Also, get ones with hinged cuffs at the top. The reason is then that you don't have to put them down to pick things up; you just leave them dangling off your elbow.

If you get gloves, run them through the washer a few times. Otherwise, the dye will come off on your hands...

A really good set shouldn't cost that much. I think my aluminium ones cost about 30 quid or something and they're double adjustable and moulded grips and everything.

Today I am not using crutches. I am wearing four inch heels by Ravel for the first time in **AGES** thanks to the work of Jim the Physio at the Droitwich. And damn it feels good to be tall again. Hurrah!

I'm a grouchy software engineer with a sore knee. And I'm bad in the mornings. And I haven't had enough coffee. What was it you wanted doing again?