It can be a daunting and difficult experience to walk with crutches while your leg is in a walking boot cast. If you have got yourself into a pickle by breaking your leg, a pair of crutches will help you manoeuvre and regain some independence. It requires balance and some upper body strength to perfect moving around on crutches properly. However by following a few simple steps, you can learn the appropriate technique to make life easier.
- Skill level:
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Position your crutches at the right height. A medical professional at the hospital assists with this task. The top of the crutch should be between 1.5 and 2 inches below your armpit. The hand grip should allow your elbow to bend slightly when you are standing upright.
Sit on the edge of a bed or chair. Place each crutch under each of your armpits.
Stand up by using your good leg to take most of your weight while you push down on the hand grips and stand up straight.
Balance your weight on your good leg and steady yourself using the crutches. Do not place any weight on your walking boot cast. Rest this gently on the ground.
Move forward by leaning on your good leg while advancing both crutches about 2 feet in front of you. Lift the leg with the cast slightly off the ground and swing this forward with the crutches.
Place all your weight on the crutches by pushing down through the hand grip.
Bring the good leg forward to just beyond where the crutches are and place your weight on the good leg again. The good leg and the two crutches act as a tripod to keep you balanced.
Repeat steps 4 through 7 again to get to your destination. Make sure you do not put weight on the cast and that this leg is brought forward when you move the crutches.
Tips and warnings
- Smaller steps are less tiring for beginners who are not familiar with using crutches.
- Look straight ahead and not down at the ground when walking with crutches. This gives you extra balance and you won't crash into anything.
- When you get up from a chair or bed, make sure it is stable so it will not roll away from you as you stand up. If you fall back down, you will injure yourself.
- Avoid shiny, greasy or slippery surfaces to avoid slipping over and causing further injury.
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