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Questions for crutch walkers....

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    live2ride- I no this hard but you could you practice swinging slower.Hard I no

    Just out interest do u swing how people do when they break their leg?


      Hi L2R. Use what ever stride style works for you. If you drag a hole in your bad leg's shoe, call up your shoe sponsor (BTW-congrats on your Paralympic success ! !) and get a few more pairs.;-)
      I do swing-through stepping and variable partial weighting of the 'bad AFO leg'. The faster the cadence, the less I weight the AFO leg. Descending steep scree in the mountains I definitely take big steps and swing through. I can cover 5 ft distance between strides. My AB friend told me half joking that I have an advantage swing down steep hill sides with crutches - ya, sure... Sometimes if there is a lip on the stairs of a staircase that likes to hang up my toe with the AFO on it, I will just make that AFO leg limp and climb stairs with one leg and crutches. It is fast and powerful at least for a flight of stairs. Hope you like 'dip' exercises. I often describe the long hikes I take as doing dips for 8 hours straight.
      The toe area of my AFO foot does take a beating. I can't claim to walking so much in the real scheme of things that it adds up though. I have reenforced my low cut hiking shoes with Shoe Goo a few times.

      Did you get some SideStixs ?


        Maybe try to make the crutch longer so it lifts you higher. I work on that motion on the steps in my porch. I step up 2 treads and back down, I concentrate on trying to get the hamstring to work to lift the foot. My left hammy is very weak but this helps strengthen it some.


          Tks all - arndog I have ordered sidestix. After reading through all the threads I went for the ones with shock absorption in the shafts. Wasn't sure on the tips so just the standard ones and I will see how things go. Just waiting on delivery which I think could be a few weeks.

          I have taken the dog out for a few longer walks and seem to be fit and strong enough to go pretty hard for an hour or two. My orthotist, who actually went over to London and watched some of the races, wants me to try a stance control brace (above knee) but I honestly don't think it would give me the freedom the crutches do. By unloading my spine (and not twisting and lurching) my pain levels have dropped dramatically so I think I will stick with crutches for longer distance walking for now. M

          My bad leg is already about a cm longer (before injury) and with weak hip/glutes it seems even longer. I could go more lift in the other shoe I suppose. Shoe goo seems a good solution though


            L2R- your going to love them. Depending on your worst leg and how it holds up their seems to be lots of options. +1 on the dips, that part of me needs more practice. The other thing I have noticed it's easy to over stress my bad leg with a long swing thru stride. My bad leg turns to the inside with the knee and toe, when I land it not straight it gives me pain in my knee or what I consider pain nowadays. If you swing thru the swivel tips for the sticks work great off road.


              Hey I have a question for you travelers out there and fellow cruth walkers. I am planning a trip and have to get on and off a couple of flights. I have not traveled by airplane since my injury and need some logistical advice. I am a fulltime crutch walker. I am pretty proficient with a cane. I like the crutches because they really offer me way more freedom than the cane because I feel I am in much more control.
              My question is can you use the crutches on the plane? Should I go with a cane? Or should I say to hell with it and use my wheelchair? I haven't really used the wheelchair outside the house for over two months and have only used to get dressed for the last month or so. I don't really want to use it anymore if I can help it.
              I respect everyone's opinions and experiences on this thread and wanted to see if there were any suggestions out there. Thanks


                I use crutches in the plane. I throw them in the overhead compartment right away. I don't want the stewardess taking them somewhere else. You've probably noticed it is hard to crutch down an aisles since you have to pinch your shoulders together. I look...well... disabled ! ! Oh that's right... I am disabled. But I get them out to go to the bathroom on the plane and if I don't, I would use the backs of peoples seat which I am sure no one is fond of.


                  I went on some lengthy international flights at a similar stage in my recovery.

                  With regards to the airplane itself, bring both the crutches and a cane. You don't know what will be more practical to use in the tight environment of the plane and you don't know how your balance will react to the floor that is moving around a bit. If the cane is plenty for you, then you can stash the crutches in the coat compartment and use the cane. Otherwise, maybe you can use just one crutch or even two.

                  That being said, I wasn't too good with the cane when I went on my flights and I found it easier to walk with the cane because I was never far from something to grab onto - the aisles are kinda like parallel bars. Still, bring both just to be on the safe side.

                  I think the question of whether or not to bring the wheelchair is more a matter of what you think you will need to get you around at your destination. I brought mine because I couldn't handle the distances in the airport and I couldn't say for certain that I wouldn't need it for the three months I spent abroad. But getting onto the airplane is definitely easier to do with crutches if you're lucky enough to be able to pull it off (which I'd guess you are, judging by what I've read and seen).
                  L2 incomplete with a pretty bad limp since 10/31/2011.


                    I always advise assuming that you will need more energy and that you will be more tired during travel, and that therefore you should move up one in terms of mobility devices. If in your regular life you normally use crutches, bring a wheelchair and the crutches, or at least take advantage of wheelchair service at the airport.

                    The aisles are kind of like parallel bars, as shveddy says, but people can get remarkably annoyed when you grab on to their seat near their head, and I personally have had my hair inadvertently pulled by someone using the seats as parallel bars. If you're tall enough, you can grab onto the edge of the overhead bins to help yourself down the aisle.

                    You will not be allowed to keep the crutches at your seat, but you should not hesitate to ask the flight attendant to bring them to you in flight if you want them.


                      Thanks folks. When we booked the flight we booked as a wheelhair user. I figured that way it would give me some flexibility. It is still about a month away but I figured I would see what folks on here thought since I am a newbie. Thanks again for your help. It is always appreciated.


                        Update - Blue Cross Blue Shield paid for my father's SideStix crutches.



                          Yay!! That is great, hlh, so glad to hear it!
                          MS with cervical and thoracic cord lesions


                            Update - Medicare denied our appeal for paying for SideStix crutches. They are a lot slower to evaluate claims then BCBS.

                            Surprisingly, they called my father to "explain" their denial. First, they said that they would not cover them because we didn't purchase them from a Medicare supplier. Second, they said that even if we had purchased them from a Medicare supplier, they would have only paid $100 or so towards them. Their standard crutches reimbursement rate...

                            Of course, I expected this denial, as my appeals to Medicare in the past all require 2nd/3rd level appeals to get to a qualified person for evaluation.

                            SideStix will need to find an American Medicare supplier, for future clients to at least have a chance for getting Medicare coverage. But they said they are working on this.


                              HLH - glad you got some money to pay for the sidestix. 100 dollars for crutches from medicare. Why buy nice crutches when your dad can use a 4 caster cart that he can paddle with his hands and a tin cup to beg for change on a street city corner?
                              Of course I am being facetious and that is frustrating that his medical insurance (medicare) won't pay more.


                                I use WalkEasy 492 with the Tornado tips. Tornado tips ROCK!

                                This forum thread gave me the idea to check out the SideStix handgrips everyone is talking about. I contacted SideStix to see if their Biokork Ergon handgrips would fit on my WalkEasy crutches. Someone emailed me back saying they didn't think it would work out.

                                So I just wanted to know if anyone else here using WalkEasies has been able to use the Biokork Ergon handles with their crutches??

                                If so, how do you get them on?

                                I'm considering going to a bike shop to try and figure it out. I really want those handgrips!