Walking with crutchess
During the first few weeks after an operation or an injury to the lower limbs like feet or knee, you should use crutches to take some strain from the knee or foot. This is to make sure that the result of the surgery will not be compromised and that the healing process will not be at risk. We use 2 types of crutches; forearm crutches and underarm crutches. We mainly use forearm crutches because their handling is a lot easier. However, if the patients have problems with their wrists, we definitely recommend underarm crutches to reduce the strain on the wrists.
When using crutches, there are different ways of walking with them, depending on whether you must not use your foot at all or you can use your foot a little bit or whether you may put weight on it.
During the 2-point-walk, your foot or leg does not carry any weight at all. You make one step forward with the healthy leg, followed by a “step” with the crutches. Your injured foot or leg must be kept in the air all the time.
Picture: RKM740 Foot surgery – 3-point-walk with forearm crutches
If the operated foot or leg may carry the full weight, the crutches might still be important to feel safe while walking. You should now use the 4-point-walk, i.e., you move forward with the left crutch + right leg, followed by the right crutch and left leg.
Picture: RKM740 Foot surgery – 4-point-walk with forearm crutches
If the leg or foot must not be used after an operation, the use of the crutches should be practised beforehand. You will receive a prescription for both types of crutches, also for special handles, non-slip shoe studs or claws for your shoes, so you can walk safely on frosty winter days.
Please note: If the operated leg must not carry the full weight, it is extremely important to follow this advice. Sometimes patients might think “I’m sure that a few steps without crutches won’t do any harm” – but these few steps may, indeed, do more harm than good and have very negative consequences for the healing process.
You can expect 3-6 weeks for the complete healing process. This can vary depending on the person or the type of operation.