How to Use Crutches Correctly - Ask Doctor Jo

Toggle fullscreen Fullscreen button

Sharing buttons:

Hey everybody, it's Doctor Jo, and today I'm gonna show you how to use some crutches.

I had hip surgery recently, so I've had the pleasure of hobbling around on crutches for

several weeks now. And sometimes they're a little harder than you think they are. But

let me start off with showing you how to get the right height for you. When you first get

your crutches, the buttons here, which you can't see cause they've got some cool Gamecocks

over them, actually have heights. So it starts off, you know, 5'3", 5'4", 5'5", 5'6" and

it's pretty accurate. But what you really want to do, the important part is these should

not actually be in your armpit. I think people get confused with that a little bit. Now sometimes

you can lean on them if you're talking to somebody, but while you're actually walking

with the crutches, you don't want them pressing there because you have an axillary nerve that

can actually get compressed if you put a lot of pressure on it for a long period of them,

and then you're gonna have arm issues after that. So you want to be able to get about

2 fingers in between the top of the crutch and your armpit. So when you're standing,

if you can do that, that's about where you want it. You want to have just a slight bend

in your elbows as well cause you can move the handles, but it doesn't have to be a big

bend, just a slight bend because when your walking with the crutches, you don't want

them super close, you want them out to the side just a little bit cause that's gonna

give you some more stability while you're walking. So once you have all of that in place,

you get to the walking part, and there's different types of weight bearing for people when their

doing crutches. You're non-weight bearing. You can be toe-touch weight bearing which

is about 20% of your body weight. You can be partial weight bearing, and then weight