When you need crutches, it’s important to take steps to properly fit them. In this article, we are going to offer some tips for fitting your crutches properly.
Steps to Fit Crutches
- Ensure you are standing tall and wearing shoes you will walk in.
- Place rubber pads on bottom of crutches to prevent slipping.
- You want the top of the crutches to be ~2 inches (two fingers) below your armpits.
- When you grab the hand grips, there should be a slight (20-30 degree angle) bend of the elbows. When you are standing with your arm straight the hand grips should be at your wrists.
- The hand grips of the crutches should be even with the tops of your hips.
- Crutch length from top to bottom should equal armpit to six inches in front of foot.
- Crutches should be about 4-6 inches outside of shoes.
Some Helpful Tips
If the crutches are too high: it will feel like you are pole vaulting over the crutches with each step.
If the crutches are too short: it will result in you leaning forward which can lead to back, shoulder, and/or neck pain.
- Always wear shoes that have a non-skid bottom and that are secured tightly – no sandals or open back shoes.
- Move slowly as crutch tips are easily get caught on something or slip.
- Look before placing them to ensure the surface is not wet or icy.
- Never hang on crutches as this can cause nerve damage under armpits.
- Check the screws every few days to ensure they are not getting loose.
- Clear house of obstacles/hazards prior, so it is easier to get around.
PT of Costa Rican National Soccer Team for 2007 World Cup in Victoria, CAN. Clinical Instructor for University of Minnesota Doctor of Physical Therapy Affiliations