Choosing A Mobility Device: Crutches, Knee Walker, Or Hands-Free Crutch
If you have an injury on your foot or ankle that will heal on its own or have recently undergone surgery below the knee, there are several options for maintaining mobility during the recovery process. Three different mobility devices, crutches, a knee walker, and a hands-free crutch, can help you in your recovery, and each one provides different options to meet your needs.
Crutches are the most basic mobility device and have been used for many decades. While this option requires a great deal of arm strength and can cause underarm soreness, it is also the cheapest option available. This is your best option if you
- have a tight budget.
- have strong arm muscles.
- are not overweight.
- live a generally inactive lifestyle.
Crutches may not be the most convenient, and are certainly not hands-free, however, they are very easy to access and can provide temporary mobility for a short recovery.
Knee walkers and knee scooters are a great way to get around with use of only one leg. These walkers allow you to scoot around while kneeling or sitting on a platform, and some include turning capability with steerable handlebars.Knee walkers are lightweight and can fold to a decently compact size so that you can still maintain an intermediate level of activity. This option may be best for you if you
- have a longer recovery.
- have less physical strength.
- have a more flexible budget.
- prefer to be seated while moving.
- need to complete daily activities hands-free.
The hands-free crutch is a new innovation that has only been around a little over a decade. This model has been modified and improved to provide ultimate freedom and mobility without the use of both legs. The bottom of the device resembles a crutch while the top includes a platform for kneeling and straps to secure the device to your leg. If you usually maintain a high level of activity or a busy schedule, especially as
- a mom
- an athlete
- an employee or
- a student,
a hands-free crutch could allow you to continue most of your usual activities as long as you are motivated to learn how to use it, and are in decent physical shape. It is a bit pricier, but well-worth the money because it places virtually no limitations on your physical activity once you have mastered using it.
Once you have chosen the device that fits your needs and level of physical activity, you have the option to either rent or purchase. Find a company that rents mobility devices if you only need one temporarily or would like to try several different devices before you purchase. If your condition is more permanent, purchasing a mobility device new or used online may be your best option. Your insurance may even cover some or all of your purchase, so ask your provider to find out the specific details of your coverage!