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Thread: Crutch walking in snow/ice

  1. #1

    Crutch walking in snow/ice

    Wondering if folks can mention their favorite tricks to keep safe in winter weather. My Dad walks with forearm crutches and AFOs and has already had multiple slips and falls in this wintry weather.

    He has adapters that he puts onto his crutch tips that I think are from Fetterman.

    The tricky thing is that they are dangerous to use INSIDE - he tries to put them on just before he leaves the house and walk only on carpet, but they are slippery on the painted porch. He actually just fell leaving the rehab hospital with them on, as they are so slippery on a normal slick indoor floor.

    He has also tried a variety of "crampon" type things for his shoes, but hasn't found a pair he is happy with that works well on both snow and ice. Of course, these are dangerous to wear indoors as well.

    Would appreciate links to specific accessories that you have found to be helpful, as well as simple bits of advice.

  2. #2
    I'm looking out my window at a snowy day and just returned from an appointment. We have about an inch of new snow on the ground over ice. I use hiking poles for locomotion, but when the weather is like this, I bring out the walker. Mine has four wheels and is limited when traveling about in snow but I can pick it up, move it ahead a couple of feet and then follow. A more secure mobility device might help him. It's not forever, just for bad weather days. It can also help in that once he's inside, he can revert to a pair of dry crutches that haven't collected water on the way in.

    I completely understand the dilemma and wish him the best.

  3. #3
    I've got Tornado tips from Fetterman, which work inside and out, but still will slip on wet, slick surfaces.

    Maybe look into SideStix: ?

  4. #4
    I have studded crutch tip adapters and also these Yaktrax that fit over shoes for extra grip. BUT...walking on snow and ice with forearm crutches is a risky proposition and most of the time I simply don't do it. Like Truly, I use a four-wheeled walker (with handle brakes) under conditions where leaning on crutches might send me into a forward spill.
    Last edited by Bonnette; 01-20-2012 at 04:59 PM.

  5. #5
    Senior Member ~Lin's Avatar
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    Nov 2011
    Indianapolis, IN
    I use forearm crutches, and now have added part time in a wheelchair. We have barely had any snow this year so far. Its kind of odd actually. I took a lot of spills last year, one really bad one after an ice storm. I really want to get some stuff to help, like the crutch tips and the things that go over the soles of your shoes. Just can't afford them yet! But like I said, not a lot of snow yet. As much as I love snow, I hope that continues for now. So no advice, just watching the thread for ideas as well
    Board Member of Assistance Dog Advocacy Project working in Education. Feel free to ask me any service dog questions!

    I am not paralyzed. I have a genetic connective tissue disorder with neuro complications and a movement disorder.

  6. #6

  7. #7
    Thanks all for your input. Appreciated.

    Bonnette and truly - we have been thinking about the walker option, but my father has difficulty using a 4 wheeled walker even in optimal conditions. It causes a huge amount of effort and back pain to control it, and I worry combining it with snow/ice would be hard. He is worried that it would roll away from him on the ice. He also has difficulty walking by lifting the walker, as his core balance is not quite there yet.

    Do you use "snow tires" on your walkers.... some sort of adaptor that adds additional friction to the wheels to keep it from rolling away?

    And Katja.... do you use Sidestix crutches? Pricey, but those snow shoe adaptors look really interesting and my dad is intrigued. Do you use those?

    Right now he's using the crutch tip adaptors and Taktrax like Bonnette and Arndog use.

  8. #8
    No, I've never tried them, but read arndog's adventures with them with great interest.

  9. #9
    I don't have snow tires on my rolling walker, but when I need to use it on snow and ice I wear Yaktrax on my shoes and proceed at a snail's pace. I can certainly relate to your father's concerns about using the walker, it's not a perfect option.

  10. #10
    I envy you guys
    the only time i ever saw snow was when i went abroad to Switzerland.
    Nice and white.

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