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Crutches refer to a piece of equipment that acts as a mobility aid and provides additional support for standing and walking.

Crutches act to transfer the weight-bearing load from affected lower limbs to upper limbs.

Crutches assist with maintaining balance, reducing pain or fatigue, and facilitating a safe walking pattern.

There are two different styles of crutches, including forearm/elbow crutches and underarm crutches. Children’s crutches are also available.

The most suitable type of crutches is dependent on the type of injury, the individual’s needs, and the environment in which they will be used.

An Occupational Therapist or a Physiotherapist can provide advice regarding the most appropriate type of crutches to use.

Factors to consider:

  • What type of environment will the crutches be used in? Ie. Indoor, outdoor, uneven surfaces, stairs.
  • How much upper limb strength does the individual have? This will help dictate the type of crutches recommended.
  • Ensuring the crutches are set at the correct height (if unsure, consult a health professional).
  • Is the individual sensitive around the axilla or underarm area?
  • Does the injury or condition require full or partial weight-bearing?
  • Body shape
  • Does the injury or condition require short-term or long-term use of crutches?

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