Alternatives To Crutches: Stay Mobile After Knee Surgery

Although kids often get excited about the idea of crutches, once you're on them you'll figure out that they're not as much fun as they look!

Many will experience sore muscles as a result or even chafing of the skin and blisters that can become quite painful.

Don’t go without the tools you need to remain non-weight bearing.

There are plenty of alternatives to crutches that will offer you relief and keep you enjoying the life you live.

Read through this handy guide to find my pick for the best alternatives to crutches.



Let's face it, crutches have novelty value for about a day, especially when you've never used them before, but you quickly realise that they really aren't that practical, especially for long term use. 

Crutches can give you terrible blisters on your hands, and will often chafe the skin around your forearms or under your arms, depending on the type of crutch you're using. 

They also make your shoulder muscles ache. Think about it, you're suddenly putting your entire weight on your upper body. It's not used to that kind of strain, and your muscles will definitely complain about it! 

Aside from the pain, it's hard to actually go anywhere or get anything done on crutches. You need both hands to move around, which means it's hard to carry anything or pay for anything. Even the simplest everyday task becomes a performance.

If it's just a matter of days, you can probably cope with crutches. If you'll need help with mobility for any period of time, however, do yourself a favour and go with an alternative.  


What Are My Options Instead of Crutches?


There are tons of options when you're researching alternatives to crutches after knee surgery.

However, you need to be careful because not all of them are good options for you.

For example, bearing weight and attempting to walk is, of course, an option, and you have the right to do that, but you have the chance of causing severe damage. Avoid more pain and choose a different route.

The hands-free crutch, which resembles a peg leg, is the best option for a lot of people. It's practical, and let's you live life as normally as possible, despite your injury! This can make the recovery process much less frustrating. 

However, these won't be for everyone. This option requires a lot of skill and isn’t always the best for people who struggle with mobility issues.

A much better option as an alternative to crutches for knee injury  for someone who wasn't particularly mobile beforehand would be to look at the quality knee or seated scooters.

These will roll across the ground while you either rest the injured leg on the pad or while you sit comfortably.

Models on the market today come with great options and make moving around a breeze.

With all that in mind, we're going to review the best knee walker and hands-free crutch out there, to help you decide which will be the best choice for you! 


Best Alternatives to Crutches Reviewed


Drive Medical Steerable Knee Walker


Drive Medical DV8 Aluminum Steerable Knee Walker

If you’re suffering from breaks, sprains, amputation or even just need alternatives to crutches after foot surgery, this is a great option.

This knee walker is fully capable of being steered to provide maximum maneuverability.

If you live an active lifestyle, this model even has a steering column which folds for easy transport or storage, so you can take it with you wherever you go.

The leg pad features a “channel” that provides added stability and comfort for the user.

The seat and handle can also be easily adjusted and there are no tools required so anyone can do it. This model even offers a weight limit of up to 300 pounds.

The deluxe hand operated brakes provide immediate stopping ability to keep you safe. There's also a push button brake lock to use while parking.

The dual wheel brake mechanism combined with the 8-inch wheels provides for perfect handling whether you’re indoors or venturing outside.


Key Features of this Knee Walker


    • Can be folded easily for transport.
    • Can be used indoors or outdoors.
    • Optimal stability and control.
    • Offers deluxe braking system for safety.
    • No tools are required to make any adjustments.

Pros


  • Customer favourite, high ratings
  • Well-priced, value for money
  • Rolls smoothly 

Cons


  • No basket
  • Not suitable for all-terrain use 
  • Brakes very sharp - care must be taken

iWALK 2.0 Hands Free Crutch


A hands-free crutch will be much better for certain people than a knee walker will. It's essentially a crutch that attaches to your leg, keeping your lower leg supported. Think pirate peg leg and you'll get the right idea! 

The best thing about it, in my opinion, is that it means your hands are left free! That means you can carry shopping, hold a coffee, or do any of the little things that crutches stop you from doing.

A knee walker still requires you to use at least one hand to steer it, so if having hands your hands available is a priority for you, try this product out instead. 

One thing I really admire in this product is that they're very keen to make sure that only people that could truly benefit from a hands-free crutch purchase it. That gives you reassurance that's their priority is your health and well-being, not just their profit. 

They provide a helpful manual along with the product and also have some extremely clear and useful videos to make sure you can use the product with total confidence. 

Users say that although you can only move slowly to begin with, once you've got the hang of it you can get up some real speed! You won't be running anywhere, but you'll be able to get around much more quickly. 


Key Features of this Hands-Free Crutch



Pros



Cons



9 Tips for Using Your Knee Walker


Decided that the knee walker is the product for you?

Here are a few tips to make the best of your alternative for crutches.

1. Stand naturally with your injured leg at a 90-degree angle.

2. Set the handlebars at a comfortable distance in front of your body, generally at waist height.

3. Make sure the brakes are on every time you're placing your knee on or off the scooter.

4. Always keep your speed under control, this isn’t a race.

5. Keep your weight over the center of the walker to maintain proper balance.

6. Use the walker as an added help to get in and out of the shower. Roll the scooter directly to the side of the shower. Then, with the brakes on, use it for support as you get in and out of the shower.

7. Be careful when going around turns as the walker can easily tip or lean if it’s being operated too fast.

8. Have help with you when going up and down hills or facing any uneven terrain.

9. Ideally, you should practice using the walker prior to surgery as there can be a learning curve.


For tips on making the most of a hands-free crutch, check out the detailed instructions for use and videos on their website!


Conclusion


Now that you realize there are alternatives to crutches, there’s nothing holding you back from having a fun and safe recovery. Both of these options are great, and the one that's best for you will depend entirely on your preferences and circumstances. 

You’ll no longer be faced with those sore muscles or chaffed skin. Instead, you’ll be able to focus on continuing to live life just as you want to and have a lot more freedom!

If you want to learn more about the knee walker reviewed above, be sure to check out the company’s YouTube video. 

About the author

Nina T

Hi I'm Nina, a mother of one and proud contributor to sleephealthenergy.com. Growing up I always enjoyed learning about my body and how I can live out a more healthy, wholesome and fulfilling life. I am super excited to be a contributor to sleephealthenergy.com as I can now channel my passions into helping educate others.

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