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How to Know If You Need Crutches

By Elle Blake ; Updated July 27, 2017

Crutches are medical tools used to help patients walk after an injury to their hips, feet or legs. They ensure that no weight is placed on the injured limb, which prevents further injury while allowing the patient the ability to move. If you are not sure if you require crutches, these are things to consider.

Consider the injury. Typically only injuries to hips, feet or legs require crutches, although some spine or back injuries may require crutches, too. Think about how the injury occurred, and whether it will heal itself with care.

Carefully attempt to place weight onto the affected joint. Stand close to a sturdy piece of furniture or person who will be able to support you if necessary. If the joint cannot bear weight, you will need to visit a hospital to obtain crutches.

Take a step with the joint if it does hold weight. Ensure you have people around you to help if you fall over, and carefully place your feet to avoid further damage to the joint.

Visit a physiotherapist or doctor if you are still unsure if you require crutches. She will be able to advise you about how to look after the injury and recommend whether you should consider other similar medical equipment such as canes, which may be more suitable to your injury.

Tips

Always check that your crutches are the right height for you, as incorrect crutches can do more harm than good.

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