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Thread: Does anyone here use leg braces and crutches instead of a wheelchair?

  1. #11
    I use the forearm crutches with one AFO. I am an incomplete L1 burst fracture, no sensation from the waist down, but fortunately fair motor ability in one leg and not much in the other. I am fused from T11 to the pelvis. I still use a wheelchair during the day at home to recover and get my hands free. I think anyone going slow with canes should consider dropping back to forearm crutches with the symmetry it gives your gait and the ability to go farther.
    I just used crutches to crutch hike around Lake Tahoe on the Tahoe Rim Trail. In the right hand corner you can choose to watch this in HD on youtube.


  2. #12
    WOW, can you ever move with those SideStix! And without even hunching your shoulders...wow, that's all I can say. Your dog is beautiful!

  3. #13
    Senior Member marycsm77's Avatar
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    Damn Arndog, you do get around. I have mobility in both my legs albeit altered, used an AFO and you can walk like 2x as fast as I can, atleast, and my legs can't hold up for very long. I have to save my pennies and get me some of those side stix

  4. #14
    Senior Member Domosoyo's Avatar
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    Sweeet! Love the vid and pooch!
    My daughter doesn't have that much function but I think she would appreciate seeing your video. She is considering a try at adaptive skiing this winter but because she is a quad, the main thing holding her back is fear of getting cold. I've told her that we will totally wrap you up...even cover your face so you look like a bankrobber. (Maybe I shouldn't have told her the last part...just the "look" every 14-year old girl is going for!)

  5. #15
    I am a T-11, T-12 incomplete injured in 2007. Started out in a wheelchair, then a walker and now I use forearm crutches everyday. When I go to the grocery store, Walmart, etc., I use their chairs since it's faster but I love my forearms crutches. It took me some time to be able to use them; just don't give up if the doctor says go for it!

  6. #16
    Wow Arndog...what an inspiration you are. I would to be able to hike like that with my family. Guess I should give it a try

  7. #17
    Hi Everybody
    Wheelchairs and Crutches go hand and hand to me
    As we can see everyone has their own regimine


    I am a major workaholic and I really push things to the limit considering my upper neck SCI injury ... I broke my neck 2 times .

    Oddly Since I was 16 I had the same old pair of wooden crutches I use them most everyday ...

    I have tried those forearm crutches but it aint my style .

    Thank goodness for lightweight wheelchairs

  8. #18
    I lost the use of my legs eight years ago when I was twelve following a motor vehicle accident. When I left hospital I was confident in the operating of my wheelchair, a Quickie lightweight and envisaged it being my only means of mobility given my situation. Cutting a long story short, my parents had never allowed me to dwell on my misfortune and had always been practical when problems arose. Since I wanted to remain in mainstream education at a school not well suited to the using of wheelchairs, they asked whether I would wear supports on my legs (if such were available to me) and try to function with crutches. Hospital referals and opinions followed until I was seen by an orthotist who believed that it was worth a try since I was keen to stand and manage without spending my life on wheels.
    Just after my thirteenth birthday I was introduced to my first set of HKAFO's or calipers as they are known in the UK. These fitted from a belt around my waist down to my ankles with automatic locking knee and hip joints. They had leather bands and buckles at my ankle, calf, knee and thigh with a padded metal ring at the crotch and steel bars either side of my legs which slotted into my shoes. Basically I was wearing polio style leg irons but if they worked then the appearance was secondary. After much effort on the parrallel bars in outpatients and practice at home, I was able to propel myself from A to B and eventually cope in school.
    My verdict is that I prefer to be on my crutches than sitting in the wheelchair. In seven years of wearing calipers every day i have become very capable and largely independent. Although I cannot walk, I can swing myself along from my waist in a single movement and get myself about. Calipers/braces are not very common now and mine are very obvious with a short skirt or over leggings so maybe a wheelchair looks neater but hey, I'm extrovert and only 20 years old so people can give me strange looks if they wish. In the summer, on holiday I wear bikinis and at the local swimming pool. I am paralysed but still feel liberated so if I can manage without the wheelchair so can others. Just overcome the self consciousness!

  9. #19
    Senior Member canuck's Avatar
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    As a T11/12 former walker (KAFO's & Crutches) I agree with Curvy Satos on the damage it can do to your body. Walking with crutches and braces took so much energy, it's not really functional either, you can't carry anything, Much more functional using chair only.

    Maintaining the ability to walk for therapy & those ocasions where you do need to walk is fine (stairs no elevator) but as far as being on crutches & braces all days as you carry out the days activities in my opinion not really worth the energy expenditure. Of course the decision is up to you.

  10. #20
    There was a few periods in my chaotic life where I definitely was doing my business from bed and a chair quite satisfactorily so this goes out to 4 of my closest friends my recovery buddies .
    Each of us have and had high hopes of getting back to our old normal ways .

    Although Self Conciousness esteem is top priority We must take into consideration that each of us has his/ or / Her own medical stipulations ...

    1) Technically I mean that there is some of us who are High % wise wheel chair dependent .

    I fell in the above category because of alot of internal injuries


    2) And there is those who are able to stand up / possibly walk of do other things

    The key factor here is ( Situations )

    It is not for the most part that some of us do not get out of our wheelchairs , beds and other medical apparatus because We are lazy

    All the Confidence sometimes doesnt make our bodies agree with our minds .
    Standing / walking is a marvelous ability .

    I just wish everyone the best in their endeavors

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