How to Use Crutches Properly

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When using crutches, keep an inch space above the armpit pads, make sure the wrist guards are right at the wrist height, and hold a single crutch on the opposite side of the affected limb. Use crutches appropriately to get the best healing results with health information from a physical therapy doctor in this free video on sports medicine.

Part of the Video Series: Sports Medicine Information
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Video Transcript

Hi my name is Patrick McCarthy. I'm a doctor of physical therapy here at Wilmington Orthopedic Group. What I want to talk to you today bout is how properly to use crutches. Crutches are often used so when you want to be non-weight bearing or partial weight bearing for a period of time if you have a lower extremity injury. Some of the main points that you want to think about when you're sizing yourself up for crutches is height of the armpit or the pads. It is usually good to have a good, I go by three fingers so about an inch, inch and a half space gap and then also with the wrist guards you'd like them to be right about wrist height so places to rest your hands, you mostly are using your hands. Another thing to do is once you're maybe beyond the point of full non-weight bearing and you are down to partial weight bearing is to drop a crutch and go to one crutch, easy to do but one thing you want to keep in mind is you want to put the crutch on the opposite side of the affected leg so if you hurt your right ankle you'd like to use the crutch on the left side and then every time that crutch hits the ground your bad leg hits the ground. What it's meant to do is take the weight off the bad extremity and force it on to the crutch and that's a couple ways to use crutches.


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