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Are crutches only for lower level injuries

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    Are crutches only for lower level injuries

    Im t-6 and I think I really would be more productive if I could get out of this chair. Are crutches and leg braces a possibility for me?

    #2
    Hello,
    The decision about you using leg braces should be made by your doctor. Theoretically, you should be able to use KAFOs. Remember, it is not easy though. I am T12 complete and using KAFOs and crutches for the past 10 years. I use them more than chair (probably 60% of day in braces and the rest in the chair ).. Still walking for longer distances is very hard. I use through-gait style of walking. I have lived in the city and I work in the office. It is much easier for me to move a little bit in braces than in the chair. Especially if you have to get out of the car just to buy milk. Putting the chair back and taking it apart after few minutes takes longer just "jump" out of the car in braces.
    Many people whom I know, some from this forum, ordered braces and were very disappointed. It may look easy from the distance, but in reality it is hard and time is needed to use to them. It took me a year to get phisically fit to take advantage of wearing them.
    You are T6 complete or incomplete? Also, what do you mean by being more productive?
    Last edited by foton; 9 Mar 2012, 1:35 PM.

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      #3
      Originally posted by foton View Post
      Hello,
      The decision about you using leg braces should be made by your doctor. Theoretically, you should be able to use KAFOs. Remember, it is not easy though. I am T12 complete and using KAFOs and crutches for the past 10 years. I use them more than chair. Still wlaking for longer distances is very hard. I use through-gait style of walking. I have lived in the city and I work in the office. It is much easier for me to move a little bit in braces than in the chair.
      Many people whom I know, some from this forum, ordered braces and were very disappointed. It may look easy from the distance, but in reality it is hard and time is needed to use to them. It took me a year to get phisically fit to take advantage of wearing them.
      You are T6 complete or incomplete? Also, what do you mean by being more productive?
      I assume I'm pretty complete. I have some trunk control but no sensation. I Kno it's hard work but if it's do able I'd like to try. I'd be less dependent and thus more productive...

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        #4
        Eric.S,
        Talk to your doctor then to get in touch with rehab facility in your area. They will asses you and maybe let you try the generic braces just to check how you will feel.
        I do not know any of T6 para using them daily, but I know many T12 ones. I was born in Europe were using braces is the only way to leave the house in many places

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          #5
          So is t-6 to high for braces and crutches?
          Last edited by Eric.S; 9 Mar 2012, 8:50 PM.

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            #6
            I tried walking with braces for many years after my injury - I use an AFO & a KAFO plus a walker (never felt very confident with loft strand crutches). I found that it really hurt my back to walk using them, I have rods in the lower thoracic area, as well as a fusion. In hindsight, I think it might have been better to use two KAFOs, although the AFO made it easier to stand up with bent legs, the difference in support meant I often stood kind of twisted. I also had to thrust my hips forward to balance well, which aggravated my hips frequently (and I'm having lots of hip issues now, wondering if they're connected).

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              #7
              Originally posted by jgrant27 View Post
              I tried walking with braces for many years after my injury - I use an AFO & a KAFO plus a walker (never felt very confident with loft strand crutches). I found that it really hurt my back to walk using them, I have rods in the lower thoracic area, as well as a fusion. In hindsight, I think it might have been better to use two KAFOs, although the AFO made it easier to stand up with bent legs, the difference in support meant I often stood kind of twisted. I also had to thrust my hips forward to balance well, which aggravated my hips frequently (and I'm having lots of hip issues now, wondering if they're connected).
              What's your level?

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                #8
                I think T6 is too high, you don't have the trunk control.

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                  #9
                  Originally posted by t8burst View Post
                  I think T6 is too high, you don't have the trunk control.
                  Damn it!!!

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                    #10
                    I'm T4, no trunk control, no hip flexors... I tried KAFO's waste of time and energy and gave me a whole slew of bad habits, plus completely non-functional.

                    I moved onto RGO's, if you're motivated and want to stand and hobble around, they seem the best solution$$$ I've come across.

                    One of the advantages over KAFO's I can stand and rest, take as
                    many steps as I want rest etc. With no help from anyone else.
                    KAFO's I always had to have someone ready to brace me when I
                    wanted to rest.

                    An old thread with a couple of old youtube videos for comparisons.

                    https://www.carecure.net/forum/showthread.php?t=156658

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                      #11
                      Instead of actually trying to walk y doesn't anyone use a crutch like a broken leg type of situation and just use the legs as a balancing point?

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                        #12
                        @foton,

                        What muscles do you have working at a T12? Glutes, hip flexors, quads?

                        I recently got my KAFOs and have started using them with a walker. I am a T11 complete and I kind of hip-hitch to walk as I do not have hip flexors.

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                          #13
                          Eric.S,
                          "So is t-6 to high for braces and crutches? "
                          I think yes, but do not get discouraged. This is why I suggested to go to your doctor. Any of us with the same level of SCI behaves differently. Maybe you can accomodate. You never now. The problem is you might hurt yourself more just by trying to use them. Joints of your hands and arms will tale a lot of punishment. This is the type which they were not designed for. You might try RGO and/or stands control devices.

                          @2TiRods,
                          I am T12/L1 complete. I am unable to move (lift) or bend my legs. I use combination of my stomach/hands muscles to lift my body and move my legs in front of me. Something like this:
                          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LQiMh3nArh0
                          This is the 'old fashioned" way, but it works for me. But, remember never try to rush walking with them. My walk is slow and I do not take a long throws of my legs. This is to not overload joints of my arms. I still have a good trunk balance which let me not to put entire weight of my body on arms. If you think to wear them us myself, everyday, pay attention to KAFOs weight. I just got a new pair slightly lighter than my previous ones. They are hybrid; mix of plastic and carbon fibre.

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                            #14
                            It's true that you won't be able to functionally walk with KAFOs and crutches at T6 - and it is a ton of work. But it is great exercise, and you get the benefits of standing. But as NW-Will said, you will need someone around for safety... The good thing about these is you should be able to try some prior to getting your own at a rehab center.

                            RGOs still take work, but are easier. They are quite a bit more expensive, and because they are custom made, you can't try them before getting them.
                            Disclaimer: Answers, suggestions, and/or comments do not constitute medical advice expressed or implied. Please consult your attending physician for medical advise and treatment. In the event of a medical emergency please call 911.

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                              #15
                              Eric,
                              This is another Eric who is T6 complete. You have an example what you can deal with:
                              http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RKw3wH7Cyxw

                              As you see there is a little bit of work to become independent with braces. RGOs are expensive, but they give more support and probably you can function independently by wearing them.
                              This guy is T4:
                              http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ywQhS...eature=related
                              Last edited by foton; 11 Mar 2012, 10:44 PM.

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