› Walking with Crutches

Confused About  How To Teach
Walking With Crutches?

No need to be confused. Sit down, grab an iced tea and watch...

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Sometimes explaining how to walk with crutches can be frustrating. Good leg, bad leg, switching crutches from one hand to another, up the stairs, down the stairs. YIKES!

Most times I see people with walkers if the person needs help with mobility and balance.

But every once in a while you are going to get a patient on crutches, so be prepared. 

Here’s a quick rundown on how they should use the crutches properly.

Walking with Crutches Demonstrated

More times than not, the patient will be taught by a physical therapist initially. But there’s the problem of diminishing returns. Poor memory, pain and pain meds, can erase all that instruction. So be prepared to reinforce the sequence of things. 

If you find the patient really needs continuing education, you should ask the physician for an order to have the therapist return for further evaluation and instruction. While you should be familiar with many skills, you should feel comfortable utilizing the additional disciplines that are available to you.

 So when you don’t know something, think of who would.

What discipline does or teaches what you need to have done or taught? 

Now if you can find a spare pair of crutches, I’d practice what was shown on the video.

Your muscle memory will help explain it to your patient. 

Important Note: Remember to see what the doctor’s order is for the amount of weight bearing allowed.

  • If it is non-weight-bearing the patient should keep his foot off the floor at all times.
  • If it is toe touch, only minimal weight-bearing (approximately 10% of normal body weight.... if anyone can figure out how to quantify that).
  • Full weight-bearing is obviously normal pressure on the affected limb or at least as much as the patient can manage. 

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