Tuesday, 19 January 2016

3 Basic Types of Walking Crutches

Walking Crutches: There are 3 basic types of walking crutches and they are used to reduce weight bearing on one or both legs, or to give additional support where balance is impaired and strength is inadequate.
  1. Arm Crutches
  2. Elbow Crutches
  3. Forearm Crutches
1. Arm Crutches:

Arm Crutches
  • Our Price:Rs.534
They are made of wood with an axillary pad, a hand piece and a rubber ferrule. The position of the hand and the total length are usually adjustable. The Hand Crutches should rest against the chest wall approximately 5 cm below the apex of the axilla and the hand grip should be adjusted to allow the elbow to be slightly flexed when weight is not being taken. Weight is transmitted down the arm to the hand piece. The elbow is extended. Weight should not be taken through the axillary pad as this could lead to a neuropraxia of the radial nerve or brachial plexus.

Measurement of length It is usually carried out with patient in lying.

With shoes off measure from apex of the axilla to the lower margin of the medial malleolus.
With shoes on 5cm below the apex of the axilla to a point 20 cm lateral to the heel of the shoe. This tends to be less accurate than the first method.

The measurement from the axillary pad to the hand grip should be taken with the elbow slightly flexed (approximately 15 degree) from a point 5 cm below the apex of the axilla to the styloid process.

2. Elbow Crutches:

Elbow Crutches
  • Our Price:Rs. 1275
They are made of metal and have a metal or plastic forearm band. They are usually adjustable in length by means of a press clip or metal button and have a rubber ferrule. These crutches are particularly suitable for patients with good balance and strong arms. Weight is transmitted exactly the same way as axillary crutches.

Measurement of length It is usually carried out with patient in lying with shoes on. The Elbow Crutch slightly flexed (approximately 15 degree) and the measurement is taken from the ulnar styloid to a point 20 cm lateral to the heal of the shoe. Once the patient is standing with support, the length must be checked.

3. Forearm Crutches:

Forearm Crutches
  • Our Price:Rs. 600
They are made of metal with a padded Forearm Crutch support and strap, an adjustable hand piece and a rubber ferrule. These are used for patients with rheumatoid disease, who require some form of support but cannot take weight through hands, wrists and elbows because of deformity and/or pain.

Measurement of length If the patient can stand, it is better to assess the required length in this position from elbow to the floor. Measurement can be carried out with the patient lying with shoes on, and is taken from the point of flexed elbow to 20 cm lateral to the heel.

Preparation for crutch walking:
Arms: The power of the extensors and adductors of the shoulder and the extensors of the elbow must be assessed and if necessary strengthened before the patient starts walking. The hand grip must also be tested to see that the patient has sufficient power and mobility to grasp the hand piece.

Legs: Non weight bearing- The mobility and strength of the unaffected leg should be assessed, paying particular attention to hip abductors and extensors, the knee extensors and the plantar flexors of the ankle. These muscles must be sufficiently strong to take weight.
Partial weight bearing- The mobility and strength of both legs should be assessed and muscles strengthened where necessary.

Balance: Sitting and standing balance must be tested and trained if necessary.


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