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Thread: Questions for crutch walkers....

  1. #121
    Quote Originally Posted by sbosse View Post
    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!

    GutsyGirl

    I was just maintaining mine today, so I snapped some quick pictures to show you what you would need to do. The handgrip is probably the most immediately noticeable innovation Sidestix has made, so it'll be a significant improvement if you can manage to Jerry rig something.

    The hand grip itself just slides onto a standard bar that is probably about 3/4 inch in diameter and four inches long, give or take, and it locks on with a clamp ring that just needs to be tightened with an Allen wrench. I wish I had a way to measure the length and diameter of the pipe, but I just can't find one right now.

    Be sure to ask sidestix what the diameter and length of that component, and if you can get your current crutches to be about the same length and exactly the same diameter, then you're in business. Otherwise, just get a pair of sidestix - trust me, it's a lifetime investment sort of thing that will pay for itself a thousand times over.
    L2 incomplete with a pretty bad limp since 10/31/2011.

  2. #122
    Also, I'm not sure you could go to a bike shop and use any old pair of biocork handgrips and make it work. It looks like sidestix has a specially made "backwards" version of the one designed for handle bars that will work for crutches.

    Check out the picture. I'm holding the grip in my left hand and to get the clamp portion to face inwards towards a hypothetical set of handlebars, I have to hold it entirely upside down. I could be wrong, but the clamp portion would probably have to be on the other side to work on a bike.

    Sidestix sells just the handles separately...
    L2 incomplete with a pretty bad limp since 10/31/2011.

  3. #123
    Hello,

    I just happened upon this thread while googling about on adaptive outdoors activities. I am an above knee amputee that recently started using crutches to afford myself more access to hiking and camping. I do well enough with a prosthesis and would be considered a 'high functioning' amputee. That said, even the very best prosthesis leave much to be desired -- they are heavy, and after many hours of strenuous activity, fit and comfort becomes a real issue.

    In January of this year I discovered Sidestix, ordered a pair (paid for out of pocket) and they have literally transformed my life. I took my first serious hike this weekend in well over 20 years (I'm 44, lost leg at 21); I do not wear my prosthesis when going on hikes and trail walks, btw. My wife, our two dogs and I climbed 'Saddle Mountain' here in Oregon: 5 mile round trip, 1608 feet of elevation gain. It was amazing, and I really had no problems navigating tricky trails, with very narrow, uneven, and scree covered areas. I used Sidestix articulating tips, with the carbide spiked feet and honestly had better foot than many non-challenged hikers. Sidestix are nothing short of amazing -- I really can not say enough positive things about them.

    Regarding the Ergon grips: they are indeed the same ones you can buy at a bike shop -- there is nothing special about them. I bought a pair from a bike shop to keep around as a spare pair, and they are indeed the exact same as the ones that come with Sidestix.

    Best,
    DJM

  4. #124
    Hi guys,

    A few questions for you great crutch walkers....

    1) My Dad's cork handgrips on his SideStix crutches are breaking down a bit after one year of use. Is this pretty typical, and do you wind up replacing the grips regularly? If so, do you just buy new ones from a local bike store? Also, has anyone tried the hand grip covers, and find that that preserves the cork grips better? My Dad was worried they might be slippery, and hesitated to buy them.

    2) Do you wear a watch, and if so, which one? With the tighter cuffs on the SideStix crutches, my father has trouble wearing his Ironman watch which will get "caught" in the cuffs. Sometimes this is quite hazardous.... He really needs to wear a watch, as he doesn't have a smart phone and he loses track of time. Ideally, he needs a very thin watch that has alarms for reminders (even better is a vibrating watch, as his hearing is minimal at the high frequencies). Of course, he likes something that looks sporty and cool!

    and finally...

    3) Cathing on the outside..... My Dad hates it, as he finds that he has a hard time finding places to put all the "stuff" when he walks into the stall with his crutches. He feels that he contaminates things every time he caths, which makes him avoid cathing on the outside. Any tricks you can share?

    Thanks guys!

  5. #125
    Quote Originally Posted by djm68 View Post
    Hello,

    I just happened upon this thread while googling about on adaptive outdoors activities. I am an above knee amputee that recently started using crutches to afford myself more access to hiking and camping. I do well enough with a prosthesis and would be considered a 'high functioning' amputee. That said, even the very best prosthesis leave much to be desired -- they are heavy, and after many hours of strenuous activity, fit and comfort becomes a real issue.

    In January of this year I discovered Sidestix, ordered a pair (paid for out of pocket) and they have literally transformed my life. I took my first serious hike this weekend in well over 20 years (I'm 44, lost leg at 21); I do not wear my prosthesis when going on hikes and trail walks, btw. My wife, our two dogs and I climbed 'Saddle Mountain' here in Oregon: 5 mile round trip, 1608 feet of elevation gain. It was amazing, and I really had no problems navigating tricky trails, with very narrow, uneven, and scree covered areas. I used Sidestix articulating tips, with the carbide spiked feet and honestly had better foot than many non-challenged hikers. Sidestix are nothing short of amazing -- I really can not say enough positive things about them.

    Regarding the Ergon grips: they are indeed the same ones you can buy at a bike shop -- there is nothing special about them. I bought a pair from a bike shop to keep around as a spare pair, and they are indeed the exact same as the ones that come with Sidestix.

    Best,
    DJM

    Hi DJM,

    Welcome! And thanks so much for sharing your experience. The SideStix are truly amazing. We continue to hope that they will find a US distributor soon and start working with our insurance companies to get them covered.'

    Your post makes me think I should just pick up a spare pair of handgrips at our local bike store too. Thanks!

  6. #126
    Quote Originally Posted by hlh View Post
    Hi guys,


    3) Cathing on the outside..... My Dad hates it, as he finds that he has a hard time finding places to put all the "stuff" when he walks into the stall with his crutches. He feels that he contaminates things every time he caths, which makes him avoid cathing on the outside. Any tricks you can share?

    Thanks guys!
    I hate cathing outside too.
    Suggestions:
    Get touchless Bard catheter systems. Less chance of contamination.
    Don't cath in public bathrooms. With the above systems, I would rather cath in my truck on extended trips - I tie a knot at the end of the collection bag and put it in a trash bag I keep in the truck.

  7. #127
    Quote Originally Posted by hlh View Post
    Hi guys,

    A few questions for you great crutch walkers....

    1) My Dad's cork handgrips on his SideStix crutches are breaking down a bit after one year of use. Is this pretty typical, and do you wind up replacing the grips regularly? If so, do you just buy new ones from a local bike store? Also, has anyone tried the hand grip covers, and find that that preserves the cork grips better? My Dad was worried they might be slippery, and hesitated to buy them.

    2) Do you wear a watch, and if so, which one? With the tighter cuffs on the SideStix crutches, my father has trouble wearing his Ironman watch which will get "caught" in the cuffs. Sometimes this is quite hazardous.... He really needs to wear a watch, as he doesn't have a smart phone and he loses track of time. Ideally, he needs a very thin watch that has alarms for reminders (even better is a vibrating watch, as his hearing is minimal at the high frequencies). Of course, he likes something that looks sporty and cool!

    and finally...

    3) Cathing on the outside..... My Dad hates it, as he finds that he has a hard time finding places to put all the "stuff" when he walks into the stall with his crutches. He feels that he contaminates things every time he caths, which makes him avoid cathing on the outside. Any tricks you can share?

    Thanks guys!
    1. Mine are falling apart after about a year as well.

    2. I know that sport watches with additional functions like GPS, pedometer, etc, are typically fairly large compared to other models. Some of the cheaper, digital models are perfect for alarms and they are much much smaller than the feature rich options.

    3. I have used a number of hydrophilic brands (the best, by far, is coloplast speedy cath) and they are stiff enough so that you only need to hold them by the very end, and literally nothing touches the actual shaft of the catheter that goes inside, I don't even bother washing my hands before I cath. I even cath standing up - I've even risked using the occasional urinal when I was pretty sure that nobody would walk in.

    Can your dad balance without the crutches? There is a quick moment where you need to be able to balance without the crutches to support you, but this is a play by play on how I cath while standing up. I've come across a particularly specific procedure that helps me juggle all the equipment:

    - I hang my bag on the coat hook, and keep my crutches on my arms
    - I remove a catheter and alcohol swab
    - I hold the catheter package in my left arm pit so that it is pointed upwards like a sword sheath, ready to draw
    - my right crutch is more important for balance, so I leave that hand free as much as possible
    - I open the catheter package at one end, so that only the tip with the plastic grip is exposed.
    - I quickly sanitize the relevant area with the alcohol swab.
    - I reach over with my right hand and unsheath the catheter, stabilize my wee wee with my left hand and stick it in.
    - at this point while I'm waiting to void, I can use either hand to hold the catheter in place while the other hand balances with a crutch.
    - pull it out and stick it back into the sheath
    - I flush, pull up pants, etc
    - fold up the used catheter
    - grab bag and walk out, trashing the catheter on the way out.

    Unfortunately the speedy caths are pretty expensive, but when I have them I can pee more or less like a normal person and I've gotten the whole routine down to less than ten or fifteen seconds beyond the time it takes to empty the bladder. Hope that helped somewhat.
    L2 incomplete with a pretty bad limp since 10/31/2011.

  8. #128
    Quote Originally Posted by hlh View Post
    Hi guys,

    A few questions for you great crutch walkers....

    1) My Dad's cork handgrips on his SideStix crutches are breaking down a bit after one year of use. Is this pretty typical, and do you wind up replacing the grips regularly? If so, do you just buy new ones from a local bike store? Also, has anyone tried the hand grip covers, and find that that preserves the cork grips better? My Dad was worried they might be slippery, and hesitated to buy them.

    2) Do you wear a watch, and if so, which one? With the tighter cuffs on the SideStix crutches, my father has trouble wearing his Ironman watch which will get "caught" in the cuffs. Sometimes this is quite hazardous.... He really needs to wear a watch, as he doesn't have a smart phone and he loses track of time. Ideally, he needs a very thin watch that has alarms for reminders (even better is a vibrating watch, as his hearing is minimal at the high frequencies). Of course, he likes something that looks sporty and cool!
    1) Very typical for the grips to break down after 6 months to a year. Buy your grips locally -- as stated in my other post, Sidestix grips are off-the-shelf Ergon grips. It takes 5 mins to swap them out. I have recently started using the hand grip covers -- they are nice and very grippy, and very comfortable; I use them both with and without gloves and have not had problems.

    2) I do not wear a watch, but was just about to buy one. I've had the experience where I've slipped outside and had my arm get a bit tangled up in the cuff and I can see how watch might have made that problem worse. The cuffs on SideStix can be made wider; SideStix website has info about resizing the cuffs. Perhaps widening the cuffs a bit would help out your father.

    Hope this helps.

    Best,
    DJM
    Last edited by djm68; 06-05-2013 at 02:29 PM. Reason: fix typo

  9. #129
    Thank you very much for your replies.

    Arndog, I appreciate hearing your perspective and practical suggestions. Very good ideas. He did use the enclosed cath kits when cathing on the outside initially, but found them a bit awkward and unwieldy at the time. Maybe it is time to re-visit them, as I think we still have a few. I totally agree about cathing in the car, if there is sufficient privacy.

    shveddy - I really appreciate the specifics/step by step. So useful. Unfortunately, he can't really stand without crutches in this setting safely, but your step by step is still helpful. You are right about a more simple watch being the way to go... He may not be able to tolerate anything on his wrist, and I have been trying to remember where I saw a sports watch you wear around your triceps/upper arm.

    Thanks djm and shveddy for letting me know you are wearing out your handgrips similarly. The handgrip cover sounds promising djm - thanks. We'll probably check our bike store later this week. Good thought about modifying/widening the crutch cuffs for a watch, but if anything he wants the cuffs tighter. He really uses his upper body/arms a lot when he walks and likes the security of the (relatively) closed cuff.
    Last edited by hlh; 06-05-2013 at 10:16 PM.

  10. #130
    Quote Originally Posted by hlh View Post
    Thank you very much for your replies.

    Thanks djm and shveddy for letting me know you are wearing out your handgrips similarly. The handgrip cover sounds promising djm - thanks. We'll probably check our bike store later this week. Good thought about modifying/widening the crutch cuffs for a watch, but if anything he wants the cuffs tighter. He really uses his upper body/arms a lot when he walks and likes the security of the (relatively) closed cuff.
    Glad to be of assistance. You can order the Ergon grips online from large number of sites. Just google 'ergon grips'. I'd be very surprised if you can find the Ergons in a local bike shop -- they are somewhat of a specialty item.

    Understood about the tight cuffs -- I have really good balance from years of relying upon my left foot. I can hop up and down stairs and the like. But even with great balance, I also like the tighter cuffs, so much so that I have replaced some of my bulky outdoor jackets with less bulky options that fit into the standard cuffs.

    Since starting to use the sidestix I've started to reply upon pockets, belt loops, belts and fanny packs; I put 'carbiners' on my belt and belt loops sp I can just quickly hand stuff off my belt.

    If you father really wants a cool chunky watch just hang it around a belt or belt loop! :-)

    Hope that helps!

    Cheers,
    DJM

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