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Knees together or knees apart in wheelchair?

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    Knees together or knees apart in wheelchair?

    Hi,

    I tend to sit in my wheelchair with my knees apart but I know others like to sit in their chair with their knees together, what are the pros and cons of each?

    This probably seems a ridiculous question as I have been a quad a while now but thought I would ask anyway haha.

    I'm guessing one of the reasons to keep your legs apart if you are a guy is so that everything is not more squished and it's a more natural sitting position and a reason for having your legs together would be to help keep your chair narrower.

    Thanks,
    Rob

    #2
    I would just pitch in that letting you knees be apart should take into consideration whether this allows the side of your lower leg and knee rest against your leg rest down post, and knees together should take into consideration if your inside knees are pressing too tight together. I have seen both circumstances result in pressure injuries, with the former sometimes resulting in osteomyelitis as well of the fibular head.

    I have also seen people break a leg by keeping their knees widely spread and catching a knee on a door jam when going through narrow doorways.

    (KLD)
    The SCI-Nurses are advanced practice nurses specializing in SCI/D care. They are available to answer questions, provide education, and make suggestions which you should always discuss with your physician/primary health care provider before implementing. Medical diagnosis is not provided, nor do the SCI-Nurses provide nursing or medical care through their responses on the CareCure forums.

    Comment


      #3
      Hi, thanks for the reply. Yeah they would be something you would have to watch for for sure!

      Anyone else have any input on this?

      Comment


        #4
        The two seat cushions I've used, Roho Hybrid Elite and Ride Designs Java, have both positioned my knees about midway between the two extremes. Just lucky I guess.

        Comment


          #5
          Mine sit somewhere in-between. (Footrest height can also be an important influence on how our knees sit, in my experience.)
          "I have great faith in fools; self-confidence my friends call it." - Edgar Allen Poe

          "If you only know your side of an issue, you know nothing." -John Stuart Mill, On Liberty

          Comment


            #6
            yeah mine sit about midway too.So does anyone know why it's some people's preference to have their knees together?

            Comment


              #7
              My knees tend to rest against the leg rests which leaves "dents" on the sides of my legs. It's also somewhat painful so I made up some cushioning to prevent the dents/pain. I would imagine it could be the same reason(s) some people have their knees together.

              Comment


                #8
                my left side turns in and if i remeber i push my left out as its turn in at the hip

                Comment


                  #9
                  ah I see. Seems to be different for a lot of people.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Mine do not touch, but are not spread apart either.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Originally posted by rob1 View Post
                      yeah mine sit about midway too.So does anyone know why it's some people's preference to have their knees together?
                      Chastity?? Demure?? lacking confidence?? ‚Äč
                      Because they can??
                      My right leg falls to the right and sits against the front frame, I try to be aware of it; maybe I need another cushion like the Roho Elite. I tried the 4" version and it worked but felt 'odd' (unfamiliar?) and was too high for my liking.
                      Last edited by slow_runner; 21 Nov 2021, 7:09 AM.

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                      • SCI-Nurse
                        SCI-Nurse commented
                        Editing a comment
                        I think you will find that women much prefer to have their knees together, especially if wearing dresses. My mother was an example; we made her several wide elastic/velcro bands to manage that. Man spread is not a look that most women are looking for! (KLD)

                      • rob1
                        rob1 commented
                        Editing a comment
                        Yeah I can imagine ladies prefer that haha!

                      #12
                      My chronically tight adductors forced my knees together for years. I had to force a box between my legs at home to slowly loosen the assembly.

                      Comment


                        #13
                        agree with KLD mentioned above. where-ever your knees are positioned wide or together, it will effect how your hips and ischial tuberosities (the sit-bones) are positioned while you are sitting.

                        pbr
                        The SCI-Nurses are advanced practice nurses specializing in SCI/D care. They are available to answer questions, provide education, and make suggestions which you should always discuss with your physician/primary health care provider before implementing. Medical diagnosis is not provided, nor do the SCI-Nurses provide nursing or medical care through their responses on the CareCure forums.

                        Comment


                          #14
                          If my legs aren't splayed enough, I develop pressure areas in my groin/leg area.

                          Comment


                          • SCI-Nurse
                            SCI-Nurse commented
                            Editing a comment
                            You should get a seating evaluation to find a cushion that maintains your legs in neutral position. Excessive internal rotation at the hip with your knees knocking together is not recommended. (KLD)

                          • rob1
                            rob1 commented
                            Editing a comment
                            yeah I have to watch for that too if they are too close together.

                          #15
                          Sorry I'm late to the discussion, but since i don't get on here much while on vacation, this is the first I've seen this topic. I'm wondering how people (paras specifically) control whether their legs are together or apart. I'm a T9/10 complete injury and ever since my injury my legs have been spread while in the chair, resting on the down tubes. If I move them together, they just fall apart again.

                          In my chair I don't really care, but if there is some way I could get my knees to stay together, it would make sitting on an airplane a little less awkward when I'm traveling by myself. I don't really care if my leg is resting on my wife's, but if I'm next to a stranger or between two, I find myself constantly fighting with keep my knees in "my space". I've tried spreading my feet apart, but it doesn't stop my knees from spreading...

                          The only success I've had with staying in my own space is to either sit next to the window and shift my feet/hips such that my legs are leaning against the wall, or by laying my feet sideways and crossing my legs as much underneath me as possible. I don't like to cross my legs if I can avoid it because it twists my ankles in a weird way which results in spasms.

                          Any recommendations would be welcome!

                          Comment


                          • SCI-Nurse
                            SCI-Nurse commented
                            Editing a comment
                            Some wear a leg strap around their thighs, others use a wheelchair cushion that rolls their hips in with support from the trochanter to the knee. If you don't support your legs in a neutral position while laying on your back in bed, you can develop a lateral rotation contracture at your hip, which will make it nearly impossible to keep your knees together when seated. Crossing your legs is not recommended as it increases your risk for DVT, and also puts excessive pressure on one ischium. (KLD)
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