Crutches Crutches
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A patient using underarm crutches A typical forearm crutchCrutches are medical devices used when a patient is injured usually anywhere below the waist. They usually consist of supports to provide the patient with extra stability to enable normal movement. There are several different types of medical crutches: Forearm Forearm crutches are the type most commonly used in Europe, but in the United States and Canada, are almost exclusively used by people with permanent disabilities. However, American orthopaedic surgeons are now beginning to prescribe forearm crutches for patients with shorter-term needs. Forearm crutches are used by slipping the arm into a cuff and holding the grip. The cuff, typically made of plastic or metal, can be a half-circle or a full circle with a V-type opening in the front allowing the forearm to slip out in case of a fall. Strutters These are a variation on under-arm crutches, incorporating large soles which remain flat on the floor or ground while the user walks. They allow for an improved walking gait, and distribute body weight to reduce the risk of nerve damage caused by underarm crutches. Platform These are less common and used by those with poor hand grip due to arthritis, cerebral palsy, or other condition. The arm rests on a horizontal platform and is strapped in place. The hand rests on a grip which, if properly designed, can be angled appropriately depending on the user’s physical handicap. Knee Support These crutches are useful for patients whose injury or disability is below the knee. They allow the knee of the injured leg to be placed on a support, so the injured leg now points backward behind the patient. This style of crutch affords the patient the ability to have one or both hands free to carry objects. Upper thigh atrophy is also reduced because half the patients weight is now supported by each thigh rather than one thigh and the arms. Walking sticks (‘canes’) . Walking sticks are simple crutches for those who can get around easily on their own; sometimes called “canes.” Hemiplegic and balance-impaired persons use the stick to give a better sense of vertical position while lessening vertigo. Without such a stick, one may perhaps not move in a straight line. The stick is held in the stronger hand