How to Adjust Forearm Crutches

Written by stacy d. cooper
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How to Adjust Forearm Crutches
Forearm crutches are generally used by people with long-term needs. (Vom Pferd getreten 7 image by M.R. from Fotolia.com)

Choosing forearm crutches over a walker, cane or traditional wooden crutches may be a good idea if you will be using them for an extended period of time. You'll be able to manoeuvre tight spaces more easily, and your hands will be free to use your phone, shake hands and do many other things. But there are a few drawbacks. One, you must have a strong grip to hold the crutches. And two, forearm crutches are not as stable as traditional underarm crutches. However, if you adjust the forearm crutches to fit properly, you should have no problem.

Skill level:
Easy

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Stand the forearm crutches next to the person who will be using them. The handles should be lined up next to the creases on the person's arms. Decide how much the forearm crutches need to be lowered or raised.

  2. 2

    Turn the crutch upside down. Press and hold the spring-loaded button in the leg of the crutch while you pull the end of the crutch to lengthen it. If you need to shorten the crutch, press and hold the button while pushing the end of the crutch in an upward motion. The button will click into the nearest hole and maintain the new length. Repeat the process on the other crutch. The crutches must be the same height.

  3. 3

    Tighten the collars; a collar is the lip like edge on the crutch which separates the extending part of the crutch leg from the part of the leg with the adjustment holes. The collar will "secure the leg extensions" according to the Red Cross website.

  4. 4

    Hold the crutches next to the person who will be using them. For an accurate fit, the person must be standing. Repeat step 3 if the crutches are still too short or long. Then proceed to step 5.

  5. 5

    Press the spring-loaded button located below the cuff and pull the extension above the handle. This will adjust where the cuff lands on the person's arm; you can lengthen or shorten the extension. Tighten the collars to secure the adjustment. The cuff should be 1 to 2 inches below the person's elbow.

Tips and warnings

  • Make sure the spring-loaded buttons are fully engaged in each position before using the crutches.

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