You are here : Home > Health Library > Crutch Ambulation

Health Library
Adjust font size:     
Crutch Ambulation

Crutches are common walking aids used to help with ambulation after a leg injury or surgery.

There are several ways to walk with crutches and the way you use the crutches is dependent on the weight bearing status of your injured leg. You must follow your doctor's/physiotherapist's instructions as to how much weight you are allowed to put through your injured leg and how long you should use your crutches.

Contents

Measurement of crutches

In a standing position,

  1. Ensure axilla pad measures 3 finger spaces below your armpit. Do not lean on the top of the crutches to prevent upper limb nerve injury
  2. Hand pad should be at wrist level
  3. Your elbow should be slightly bent as you grip the hand pad

Non-weight bearing walking

Non-weight bearing walking means carry your injured leg off the floor at all times

  1. Keep the crutches shoulder width apart
  2. Place your crutches one arm length forward
  3. Push down on the hand pad, hop to bring non-injured leg level with the crutches
  4. Repeat for each step

Toe touch weight bearing walking

Toe touch weight bearing walking means your toes touching the ground but not weight bearing on it

  1. Keep the crutches shoulder width apart
  2. Place your crutches one arm length forward
  3. Push down on the hand pad
  4. Move your injured leg to the crutches with toes touching the ground (NOT weight bearing) for support
  5. Followed by non-injured leg, until level with crutches
  6. Repeat for each step

Partial weight bearing walking

Partial weight bearing walking means you are allowed to put 30-50% of your body weight (varies according to insturctions given by your doctor/ physiotherapist) through your injured leg, using crutches for support

  1. Keep the crutches shoulder width apart
  2. Place your crutches one arm length forward
  3. Push down on the hand pad
  4. Step forward to the crutches with your injured leg
  5. Followed by non-injured leg, until level with crutches
  6. Repeat for each step

Going up/ down stairs

  1. Stand close to base of stairs
  2. Hold handrail in one hand and carry crutch in opposite hand
  3. If there is no handrail, use crutches in both hands

Going up

Non-injured leg goes up first

  1. Crutches remain on the bottom step
  2. Step up with your non-injured leg
  3. Push down on crutches to propel yourself up, then bring your injured leg and crutches up to the step
  4. Repeat for each step, one step at a time

Going down

Injured leg goes down first

  1. Move your injured leg forward
  2. Put crutches down on the first step
  3. Push down on the crutches, lower your non-injured leg to the step
  4. Repeat for each step, one step at a time

Care of crutches

  1. Check rubber bases of the crutches regularly to ensure they have not worn out so as to prevent crutches from slipping
  2. Do not expose crutches to heavy rain or water, as this may cause crutches to rust
  3. Ensure that the height of your crutches is securely adjusted prior to sue and the safety button is secured

Safety guidelines in the home

  1. Remove loose rugs, electrical cords, household spills etc because all these may increase your risk of falling
  2. In the toilet, use a non-slip bath mat. Grab bars, a raised toilet seat or a shower seat may be helpful as well
  3. Simplify your household by keeping things that you need close to reach, tidy other things away
- Last updated 23 May 2014,9:30 am




The content of this website is provided for general informational purposes only and is not intended as, nor should it be considered a substitute for, professional medical advice. Do not use the information on this website for diagnosing or treating any medical or health condition. If you have or suspect you have a medical problem, promptly contact your professional healthcare provider.

Back to top
·
No Attached Documents