How Do I Use Crutches?
If your foot and ankle orthopaedic surgeon has said you'll need to be non-weightbearing after a foot or ankle procedure, you might consider using crutches. Below are the steps to follow to properly fit and use crutches.
Determine the correct fit.
1. Another person should be able to fit two fingers under your arm when you are standing with crutches.
2. With your arms hanging down, the crutch handle should be at the crease of your wrist.
If either of the above measurements are incorrect, adjust the height of the crutches.
Practice getting up from a seated position.
1. Place both crutches in the hand that's on the same side as where you had your procedure.
2. Push off from the chair with the uninvolved arm and use the good leg to rise up.
Once upright, place crutches under your arms.
Another view of getting up from a seated position:
Practice walking with your treated foot off the ground.
1. Move both crutches forward together.
2. Move your body into the crutches.
3. Move forward on your good leg.
Practice going up steps.
1. Get as close to the steps as possible.
2. With the crutches on the floor, and in one motion, bend the uninvolved knee and place the foot up on the first step. Use the crutches for assistance. The affected knee and leg will be bent and should not touch the step.
3. Move the crutches to the first step and repeat the process to continue up the steps.
To come down steps, just reverse the process. Place the crutches on each step first, then move the foot to the same step.
Contributors/Reviewers: Jamal Ahmad, MD; Hui Zhang, MD
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