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This handout gives instructions on how to safely use crutches to help your recovery and healing. Forearm Crutches: Forearm crutches are also known as elbow crutches. It is advisable that the second support bears the assistant. Place a crutch in the armpit on the opposite side of the railing. The first option is suitable for those cases when the stairs have reliable railings. Use your arms for support. 3. Walking. Full and partial weight bearing style of walking Going up stairs 1. When walking using crutches it is important that they fit properly and that you use them correctly. Look straight ahead, and step through the crutches with your good leg. Don’t twist. Climbing stairs with crutches is possible with one support or two at once. ©Thinkstock, 2015 When standing up straight, the top of your crutches should be about 1-2 inches below your armpits. Hold the railing with your free hand and stand close to the rail. 4 Point Gait. Sitting Down To sit down, place both crutches in one hand holding the hand grips together and reach for the chair with your other hand to lower yourself slowly. Precautions for using stairs. you can put weight through your leg as normal. Your elbows should bend a bit when you use the handgrips. Here's how to use crutches on the stairs: Approach the stairs and have your therapist stand by for safety until confident of abilities. Have someone guard you as you learn to use stairs. How to Use Crutches Why should I use crutches? The main factor while climbing stairs on your crutches is to maintain your balance properly. Keep your elbow bent when the crutch is in place under your arm. This allows healing to take place in the absence of further tissue damage, thereby accelerating recovery. Hold the top of the crutches tightly to your sides, and use your hands to absorb the weight. To use your crutches, you need to learn a new gait, or way to walk. Support your weight evenly between the rail and the crutches. Fitting Your Child With Crutches For crutches to be safe, they must be measured to fit your child properly. Crutches: How to Use The following page will outline things to look for when getting crutches for your child, and instructions for how they should get around using crutches, depending on their level of injury. Do not use crutches that do not match or are too short. Then put one crutch under each arm. When using crutches, put your weight on your arms and hands. How to Use Crutches . 2. Adjust the handgrip height so the elbow bends slightly when your child is standing relaxed. Keep crutches down on lower level and do not place upward on the steps. This prevents you from locking your wrist or elbow joint as you use the crutch. If used correctly, crutches can accelerate the healing of certain injuries by reducing potentially detrimental weight bearing forces during walking or standing. When used properly, weight is placed in the handgrip and not in the armpit. You may want to ask a partner to help you the first few times you take the stairs since it can be tricky to keep your balance. Use your crutches only on firm ground. Go up and down stairs and ramps slowly, and stop to rest when you feel tired. It will take a little time to get used to the crutches and so it is important you try not to rush. Stand straight. Use caution when you walk on ice or snow. Walk slowly and carefully with crutches. A gripper in the middle helps to balance of upper portion of the crutch. It is All about Balance. The top of the crutch should be 1 to 2 inches below your armpit. Crutches are often used after a leg injury, but you need to know how to use them properly. This crutch is for one hand use. If there is a handrail, use it. Crutches are awkward, they make your palms sore, they fall over when you try to lean them against the bench top, they are with us for what feels like an eternity (yes six weeks can feel that long) – and it’s a shame that the safe use of crutches is often left to the user to work out themselves. Remove the crutch nearest to the handrail/banister and place it on the outside in the opposite hand. Prior to receiving your elbow crutches, you will have been assessed by a physiotherapist of a health care practitioner, who will have ensured the crutches are safe for use and measured them to your specific height requirements. Move to the front of your chair 2. Watch out for wet surfaces and objects in your way. To help it heal and to prevent pain, you need to keep all your weight off it. Hold the rail with one hand and both crutches in the other. Lean forward slightly and put your crutches about one foot ahead of you. He or she holds your belt (or a special “gait belt” you can borrow or buy) to assist you if you lose your balance. Using Your Elbow Crutches Full , Protected and Partial Weight Bearing. You can hold your other crutch in your hand or ask someone to carry it for you You can complete the stairs with 2 crutches or on your bottom if you find this easier Your crutch/’s always stay with your affected leg Going up: 1. Using elbow crutches will help you to get around during your recovery. Stand on both legs and move the crutches one pace forward. This leaflet has been produced to give you general information about how to use elbow crutches. Going up stairs 1. Support your weight with your hands. Try to take some weight through the arms while the good leg is off the ground. Move the affected leg to just behind the crutches and step the good leg forward to just beyond the crutches. Proper Positioning. 3. Underarm or axillary crutches extend up to the armpit area. Making Sure the Crutches Fit 1. Go down stairs with your injured foot in front of you. How to walk with elbow crutches: 1. Stand up straight! So you've gotten used to walking on crutches while your broken or otherwise injured leg/foot is healing. Your child is now ready to walk on their crutches as they have been shown. Stairs If it is essential to use the stairs and you have not been advised otherwise, try It will take a little bit of time to get used to using the crutches, so don’t be worried if it feels difficult at the beginning. use crutches. Move the injured leg toward the halfway point, not all the way to the front of the walker. Going Up Stairs If there is no handrail, use both crutches and lead with the good leg. Using the stairs with your elbow crutches If you need to use the stairs at home you may be taught how to go up and down the stairs by a physiotherapist before you are discharged from hospital. Stairs: Where possible use the handrail and 1 crutch to complete stairs. Always use an elevator if one is available. Put both crutches under the arm away from the railing (or hold as in the diagram below) and use both crutches as one. Put the ends 12 to 20 cm (5 to 8 inches) to the side of your feet. Walking up stairs. Elbow crutches are used as mobility aids to assist with balance, take pressure off the legs and improve confidence when walking. If you have any further questions, please speak to a physiotherapist caring for you. Be safe going up and down stairs. At first, using crutches may seem difficult. When you walk, the pressure should be on your hands, NOT your armpits. Crutches are used to help the injured person walk when the foot is broken. As you walk, move the walker one step ahead holding on to the top of the walker. They can cause back pain and falls. If you are unable to bear any weight on your leg or foot, you may have to use crutches. The 4 point gait is used where partial weight-bearing is possible. Your elbows should be slightly bent when holding the grips. 2. Push down hard on the crutches with your arms. A way to remember is “The good go to heaven, the bad go to hell.” Walking . There has a flexible round shaped brace at the top. If you have any further questions, please speak to a physiotherapist caring for you. But now you're faced with a new challenge: climbing stairs. These can cause falls. Forearm crutches have a flexible cuff that goes around the arm just below the elbow. It supports walking or climbing receiving pressure of specific portion of the body. Your elbows should be bent slightly to about thirty degrees. In the U.S., forearm crutches are typically recommended for long-term or permanent disabilities, but more people are starting to use them for short-term injuries as well. Using elbow crutches You have been given crutches to help you move around. 2. Using crutches will help you get around without putting any weight on your leg. This will help prevent dizziness and fainting. Your doctor should adjust your crutches to fit you and show you how to use them. You have been provided with elbow crutches to help you walk safely whilst allowing you to protect the injured leg. This means your wrist and elbow should be slightly bent when placing the hand on the hand grip. How to Use Crutches 1/4 . Don't let the tops of the crutches press into your armpits. If you have had an injury, a surgery, or a procedure on your leg or foot, it may need time to heal. On stairs without a railing: follow the instructions for going up and down stairs, … With the crutches and operated leg on the lower step, step up with your un-operated leg. These are more commonly used in Canada and Europe. Lead with your unaffected leg 2. Crutches may also improve mobility and walking technique. • Make sure your elbows are slightly bent. Tip: Ask a friend to carry one of your crutches while you climb or descend stairs. The handgrips of the crutches should be even with the top of your hip line. Your doctor or therapist will tell you how much weight you can put on your leg. Using crutches or a cane on stairs or steps can be a very scary concept. Arrange the crutches into a ‘H’ shape 3. Make sure the crutches are safe to use by checking the wing nuts are tight and that the crutch tips (the rubber stoppers at the bottom of the crutches) are securely attached and not worn. Your elbows should be slightly bent when you hold the handgrips. Step up with your non-affected leg while leaving your crutches on the step below. It withstands weight of upper portion of body. How to use elbow crutches on stairs with a rail This leaflet aims to guide you on how to use elbow crutches on the stairs. To turn, take small steps. 1. This information reinforces the advice from your physiotherapist on how to use them . Forearm crutches, sometimes referred to as elbow crutches, have a cuff that goes around your forearm (and sometimes elbow or wrist) to offer support. The first thing to remember when climbing stairs with crutches or a cane is always go up with your good leg, and down with your bad leg. The medical professional that you see will tell you how much weight you can put through your affected leg and which of the techniques below you should use to move around. The unhealthy leg and the two crutches move in sync and the other leg follows behind. With good techniques and some patience, you can master the art of going up and down the stairs using crutches. If you go up stairs without a railing, place a crutch under each arm. How to walk with elbow crutches This leaflet aims to guide you on how to walk with elbow crutches. Page 2 Your weight bearing status is _____ Weight Bearing for ___ weeks. The crutches act as the support for one less leg and shift the weight elsewhere. This is used in most cases where one leg is fine and another one is restricted to use. Place the top of the crutches under your arms. Then it is necessary to act in this way: Reach the railing, put one hand on them. If you haven't already discussed it with your doctor or physical therapist, this article will teach you the basics of climbing stairs … Get up slowly to a sitting or standing position. Walking with your crutches. 2. Standing Up To stand up, hold both crutches by the hand grips in one hand and push up with the other hand on the chair. A guard stands below you. Here are 10 tips that will help you maneuver better. Full Weight Bearing You are allowed to put full weight through your affected (operated/injured) leg i.e. Forearm crutches, sometimes known as elbow crutches, are usually the best choice for children. The crutches are the correct length if there is a 2 to 3 … Here are a few tips to help you get safely up and down the stairs with crutches or a cane. 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