Crutches are medical devices that help people get around when they are unable to walk due to illness or injury. They help support the body weight so that patients can be mobile. The most commonly known type of crutches is the underarm style. A padded top fits under the arm and the patient can lean on handles on the sides so that they can lift one or both feet off the ground. They move the crutches forward and propel themselves in this way. However, these are not the only type of crutches. Other kinds include:
- Forearm crutches. These crutches have bands that encircle the upper arms and handles for the patient to hold and rest his/her hands to support the body weight. The cuff has a quick release making it easy to take off the crutches. The heights can also be adjusted.
- Strutters. These are something like underarm crutches except they have large soles that remain flat on the floor when the user walks. These crutches allow a person to walk better because they help distribute the body weight more evenly. Doctors often recommend these crutches because there is less chance of nerve damage caused by underarm crutches.
- Platform Crutches. Mostly patients with arthritis and cerebral palsy use this kind of crutches. One arm is strapped into place on a platform. There is a grip for the hand that the user can angle in various directions.
- Knee Support. These are used for people with injuries or damage to the leg below the knee. The injured leg points backward, but the user has his/her hands free to carry objects and both thighs carry the weight of the body.
Crutches can be made of various materials, such as wood, metal, steel, titanium and carbon fiber.