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From sports injuries, to slip and falls, to surgery and disabilities, there is a good chance that at some point in your life you will need to use crutches. According to the Muscular Dystrophy Association, more than six million Americans rely on mobility devices, including crutches, canes, walkers, and more. This isn’t including the millions of people every year who suffer temporary mobility issues. With so many reasons to need crutches, we’re lucky that progress in mobility assistance devices continue to improve.
When it comes to using crutches, there are many ways to keep both yourself and others safe. The American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons has a long list of ways to safeguard your home and surroundings, with their tips including the removal of rugs, electrical cords, and any other trip hazards. Moving furniture and clutter to ensure clear pathways is crucial, as is keeping must-have items like phones, medication and water within arms reach. The AAOS also gives advice on the proper use of crutches, like how to adjust the armrest (1 to 2 inches below armpits), where to position handgrips (even with the top of your hip line), and how to move your elbows (always slightly bent). Proper walking and sitting techniques are also available on the AAOS website.
When it comes to picking the crutches you need, the type of injury, length of time you’ll be using the crutches and your general health all play key roles in the deciding factor. But the best part is that the crutches we’ve included on our list all help provide mobility and will keep users on their feet.
1. iWALK2.0 Hands Free Knee Crutch
One of the only hands-free options available for foot and ankle injuries, the iWALK2.0 Hands Free Knee Crutch is an excellent alternative to traditional crutches or expensive and large scooters. Providing mobility and allowing users to not need to hold on to conventional crutches, the iWALK2.0 is easily adjustable for either leg and comes with a comfortable ergonomic knee platform that includes a three-layer dual density pad.
Pros: The iWALK2.0 can be used by healthy children and adults and is easy to assemble (no tools required). Users can continue to walk normally, even climbing up and down stairs.
Cons: The iWALK2.0 is only useful for injuries below the knee on otherwise healthy individuals. It’s not appropriate for anyone with circulation or balance issues, has restricted flexibility or movement, and more.
2. Mobilegs Ultra Crutches
Save your shoulders, armpits and hands as well as your legs with the Mobilegs Ultra Crutches, which take the pressure off your joints for an experience that is high in comfort. The Mobilegs have a spring mechanism that works as a shock absorber for both the armpits and hands, making for a much more comfortable experience for the user than traditional crutches. The Mobilegs, which come in a set of two, have an adjustable ergonomic handle and rocker feet that maintain firm contact with the ground while walking, ensuring you always feel supported.
Pros: The Mobilegs have a contoured frame design that allows the crutches to stay close to the body and maintain a much slimmer profile than traditional crutches.
Cons: Mobilegs are significantly more expensive than the Hugo Mobility crutches, which are their closest counterparts.
3. Hugo Mobility Lightweight Adjustable Aluminum Crutches
Made from lightweight aluminum but still strong enough to hold up to 300 pounds, the Hugo Mobility Lightweight Adjustable Aluminum Crutches are an affordable and comfortable option for those who need a little extra help getting around for a short period of time. Lighter than wooden crutches, the Hugo Crutches have a curved stair deflector at their tip to help with going up and down stairs.
Pros: The Hugo crutches, which are sold in a set of two like the Mobilegs, feature cushioned underarm pads and washable hand grips that are sweat-resistant and help absorb some impact.
Cons: The Hugo Mobility are not as comfortable on the armpits and hands as the Mobilegs. They are also sold in sizes and not as adjustable, with the medium-sized crutches suitable for people 5’2” to 5’10”, while both the Mobilegs and iWALK2.0 work for people between 4’10” and 6’4”.