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Healing Information and Recommendations - Using Crutches

Broken Beauties LOVES Fetterman Crutches!

Getting Started

  • Make sure that all crutch pads are securely in place.
  • Make sure that all hardware is tight. Check the screws at least once per week.
  • Clean out the tips to make sure they are free of dirt and stones.
  • Have someone nearby to help you until you get used to using your crutches.
  • Remove small, loose rugs from your path.

First Things First

It is important that you follow your clinician’s instructions and put only the amount of weight that they advise you to use on your affected side.
Options include:

  • Non-weight bearing – Support weight on crutches and unaffected leg. Do not put weight on injured leg.
  • Partial weight bearing – As you move forward on the crutches, support some of your weight on the broken leg.
  • Weight bearing to tolerance
  • Full weight bearing

Getting Up From A Chair Or Bed

  • Hold both crutches by the grips in the hand on the side of the injured leg.
  • Slide to the edge and push up from the chair or bed with the other hand while pushing on the crutches.
  • Use your good leg to move to a standing position.
  • Get your balance and put your crutches into position before starting to walk.

Walking With Crutches

  • Put the crutches under your arms and press them into your ribs.
  • Bring the crutches forward 6 to 12 inches, keeping your broken leg off the ground.
  • Supporting your weight with your hands (not your armpits), swing your good leg forward, placing your foot just in front of the crutches.
  • Keep your head and posture upright to maintain balance and the correct center of gravity. Don’t slouch.

Going Through Doorways

  • Be sure to give yourself enough room to allow your feet and crutches to clear the door.
  • After opening the door, block it from swinging closed with a crutch tip.
  • Walk through the doorway.

Sitting Down

  • Back up to the chair until you feel the chair on your legs.
  • Hold both crutches by the grips in the hand on the injured side.
  • Hold onto the chair or bed with the other hand and lower yourself slowly, bending at the hips.
  • Unless you are allowed to put some weight on your broken leg, keep your injured leg off the ground and your weight on the good leg.

Going Upstairs

  • When using stairs remember: “Up with the good, down with the bad.”
  • If there is a handrail, put both crutches under the opposite arm and use the rail for support.
  • Start close to the bottom step, and push down through your hands.
  • Step up with the uninjured leg before bring the crutches and injured leg up.
  • Check your balance before you proceed to the next step.

Going Downstairs

  • Start at the edge of the step, keeping your hips beneath you.
  • Place your crutches on the step below and extend your injured leg down. (Remember: “down with the bad.”)
  • Be sure to bend at the hips and knees to prevent leaning too far forward.
  • Step down with your strong leg last.
  • Check your balance before you continue.
  • A handrail will make things easier for you. Simply hold both crutches on one side.

Using One Crutch Or A Cane

  • Use the crutch or cane to keep some of the weight off the injured leg.
  • Place it on the opposite side of the body from the injured leg. When you take a step with the injured leg, the crutch or cane will provide extra support should the injured leg not adequately support you.

* If your crutch-use becomes long-term, please see our link to Fetterman-Crutches.com for all of your long-term crutch-usage needs.

Last updated 23 April 2004