Crutches

Woman and crutches

How to Properly Use Crutches
Crutches should fit properly to ensure stability and comfort. Your physician, therapist or pharmacist will assist you with the fitting. For optimum balance and support while standing, the tips of the crutches should be eight to 10 inches in front of you and should be farther apart than the width of your shoulders. Support your weight with your hands on the hand pieces, not on your armpits.

To walk:

  • Bear your weight on your uninjured leg by placing the crutches an equal distance ahead of you.
  • Swing your body to a position just ahead of the crutches. Rest your weight on your hands, then shift your weight from your palms back to your good leg.
  • Wear a medium-heeled, solid, stable shoe on the good leg and be sure it can swing without touching the floor.

Mastering the Stairs
Going Up Stairs Without Banisters:

  • Position yourself near the wall.
  • Keep a crutch under each arm to support your weight.
  • Place the good foot on the next step.
  • Support your weight with the good foot.
  • Lift both crutches and the injured foot or leg onto the step.
  • Repeat until you arrive at the top of the stairs.

Going down Stairs Without Banisters:

  • Position yourself near the wall.
  • Keep a crutch under each arm to support your weight.
  • Place crutches on the step below at the same time.
  • Swing the injured leg or foot over the step.
  • Support your weight on the crutches.
  • Step down on the step below with the good foot.
  • Repeat until you arrive at the bottom of the stairs.

Going Up Stairs With Banisters:

  • Put both crutches under the arm opposite the banister and grasp it with the free hand.
  • Support your weight with the hand on the banister and the crutches.
  • Life the good foot onto the step above.
  • Support your weight on your good foot.
  • Pull both crutches and the injured foot onto the step.
  • Repeat until you arrive at the top of the stairs.

Going Down Stairs With Banisters

  • Put both crutches under the arm opposite the banister and grasp it with the free hand.
  • Place both crutch tips on the step below while swinging the injured foot over the step.
  • Support your weight with the banister and crutches.
  • Step down with the good foot.
  • Repeat until you arrive at the bottom of the stairs.

LUTHERAN HEALTH NETWORK
BLUFFTON REGIONAL MEDICAL CENTER | DUKES MEMORIAL HOSPITAL | DUPONT HOSPITAL* | KOSCIUSKO COMMUNITY HOSPITAL*
LUTHERAN HEALTH PHYSICIANS | LUTHERAN HOSPITAL* | MEDSTAT | THE ORTHOPEDIC HOSPITAL* | REDIMED | REHABILITATION HOSPITAL*
ST. JOSEPH HOSPITAL*

*A physician owned hospital.

If you are experiencing a medical emergency, call 911.
Patient results may vary. Consult your physician about the benefits and risks of any surgical procedure or treatment.