Crutch Teaching

  1. Patient has their lower leg immobilized for whatever reason. You're teaching them how to use crutches for the first time. Do you teach them to bend their knee, and make sure the foot stays behind them, or to straighten their leg as much as possible? I overhead someone teaching the latter this weekend, and I've never heard that before. I was always taught to bend the knee so you dont catch your foot on the ground or somethin.

    Also, and tips/hints or points that you specifically emphasize with crutch teaching?
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    About S.T.A.C.E.Y

    Joined: May '05; Posts: 558; Likes: 109
    from CA
    Specialty: 2 year(s) of experience in Emergency


  3. by   Lizziefive
    Ive only heard to bend the knee. It just makes more sense.
  4. by   APBT mom
    We were told to bend the knee so they are less likely to bang the injured leg into something while swinging through the crutches.
  5. by   Altra
    Depends on the injury. If the knee is in an immobilizer then bending it isn't going to be possible. Crutch walking with the knee immobilized is not "swinging" through the crutches but a more slow, deliberate using the 2 crutches and "good" leg together, then bringing the injured leg along.
  6. by   Larry77
    Do your facilities supply crutches?

    We merely give a packet that has instructions and gives info on where to rent them.

    I agree with the above post about the knee and when I teach about crutches I stress the most important issue of non-weight bearing vs toe-touch weight bearing and to not use the axillary pads for your body weight but rather your arms.
  7. by   andhow5
    With the kids I try to remind them that crutches are not weapons (don't assault siblings, et al), look out for throw rugs or scattered toys, and watch out for family pets darting around.

    Also for the fall (after first hard frost/freeze) and winter, I remind them to watch for slick spots (or "black" ice), loose gravel, piles of wet leaves...

    Footwear with a rubber sole- NO flip flops or clogs!

    I emphasize, "Slow and steady wins the day".

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