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Thread: walking with forearm crutches

  1. #21
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    great suggestions. i think i will contact sci-step for more info. ohio isn't too far from wisconsin. they sound like they have a great program...geared specifically for sci"s.

    also i plan to use the crutches when it makes sense to. it has been over 4 yrs since my surgery and first now i have the strength and balance to walk with the crutches, so lindsaysmom, encourage your daughter to keep at it.

    the messenger bag sounds like a good idea. i'll try it.

  2. #22
    Senior Member Imight's Avatar
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    yesterday i met a T1 complete while I was out and about. He was just getting into his car.

    He was 3 years post and using forearm crutches full time. He said he learned within 2 years. I noticed he only uses 1 leg brace which I thought was interesting. He said he doesnt like having both, i guess their uncomfortable. He seemed to be doing fine with just one. He wasnt really walking per se more of a swing then emulation of a step. kinda hard to explain, it look like something he learned how to do on his own. but he seem to get around just as fast as AB's, which I thought was really cool.

    Thats something I dread. Hope Im not TOO slow, once Im in crutches full time.

  3. #23
    Senior Member mr_coffee's Avatar
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    Hey I just saw this thread. Good job walking with the crutches. I've been on crutches for awhile, 3 years I'd say or close to it. I walk with an AFO on my left as well. I use FULL cuff crutches because its nice to reach up and not have a crutch fall off. I use easy walk fore arm crutches. I also bought Tornado tips I highly recommend anyone walking with forearm cutches to purchase these. They are anti slip and really make walking not as painful on your sholders.

    Go here to see, you can simply attach them to your current crutches.
    http://www.fetterman-crutches.com/tips.html



    I cook with the crutches, carry things, even pick things up from the ground with them, its dangerous but you get a feel for what you can do and can't do after awhile. I can't mereley bend over and pick somthing up.

    If somthing falls on the ground, I put my crutch at a diagnoal and I put all my weight on it and I let the arm that has all the pressure of the crutch lower me until I can reach it. Now this does require you to have strong tricepts but it will strengthen after time. I'm not sure if this will work for tall people. I'm quite short, 5'4-5'5" <-- on a good day hah

    To carry things, such as bowels or large plates I've found quite hard. If I'm eating cerial I put it in a plastic cup and hold the rim of the cup with my pointer finger and thumb while the palm is resting no the forearm crutch.

    If I'm cooking food on the stove. For example if I'm boiling water, I'll fill up the water, slide the pan with the water across the counter to the stove while using 1 crutch and the support of the table as the other crutch. I find myself using 1 crutch a lot and using a table or somthing as the other support becuase in tight areas it seems much easier to move around.

    If I fall, like If I go to pick somthing up from the ground and I loose my balance I just drag myself to the nearest chair. If 2 chairs are near by its easiest. But it doesn't matter where you fall, but again you need to focus on upper body strength if you havn't already.

    I think one of my worst falls was when I had to drag myself across a parking lot in the rain to my car while I was at school. It was epic hah.'

    GOodluck.
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  4. #24
    Quote Originally Posted by Imight
    yesterday i met a T1 complete while I was out and about. He was just getting into his car.

    He was 3 years post and using forearm crutches full time. He said he learned within 2 years. I noticed he only uses 1 leg brace which I thought was interesting. He said he doesnt like having both, i guess their uncomfortable. He seemed to be doing fine with just one. He wasnt really walking per se more of a swing then emulation of a step. kinda hard to explain, it look like something he learned how to do on his own. but he seem to get around just as fast as AB's, which I thought was really cool.

    Thats something I dread. Hope Im not TOO slow, once Im in crutches full time.
    I don't know what kind of brace he had, but I was in a brace (AFO) that went up to just below my knee for a while. My ankle and calf muscles were really weak and the idea was to prevent damage to my ankle and also prevent foot drop. In rehab they custom-molded some fiberglass to my leg and made the AFO from that using molded plastic.

    My PT had me walking differently in that thing - I had to keep my knees sort of locked (like a soldier I guess, not that I would know ) It was annoying at first, but I got used to it.

    I kept walking almost every day though, around the neighborhood, on some nearby paved trails, etc. and slowly got stronger. What finally made me get rid of the brace was after a level walk of about 3.5 miles I got a blister .. I guess the shape of my foot had changed slightly .. it happens. By then I was mostly just carrying a cane around (as opposed to using it for balance).

    For a couple of weeks afterwards I reverted to using the cane for balance while my foot / leg got used to not having the AFO. Then I stopped using the cane and started carrying it.

    I was still walking with the locked gait though, and it took some further outpatient PT to adjust that to be more natural. Sometimes I still consciously have to remember not to hyperextend my left knee.

    Your situation is different from mine though, so I have to imagine your PT will have different recommendations. I think once you figure it out and get used to it you'll be movin' pretty fast

  5. #25
    I know this is an old thread but just to dig it up, I highly recommend www.hurricanecrutch.com It's the most lightweight and easier forearm crutches I've ever used (have had 7 different kinds in the past). Also, the messenger bag is the best way to tote things as what was said before. Believe me, I've tried a lot of other methods but haven't found anything better.

  6. #26
    Senior Member jessie.gray's Avatar
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    I am starting to use forearm crutches again after my ostomy surgery (I was too weak earlier while recovering). I used to use them to walk around my apartment, mainly so blood would flow to my legs easier. I also wear AFO leg braces whenever I am walking. I have a pair of Walk Easy forearm crutches with a closed cuff. The closed cuff ones are much more comfortable than the open cuff, plus you don't have to worry about the crutch feeling like its gonna fall off your arm while you are walking. Plus, the Walk Easy ones are easier to adjust than most of the other ones on the market. As far as holding onto stuff, I have this little bag attached to my crutches that I can slip something into and still be able to keep my hands on the crutches for stability. Adaptable Designs makes bag for crutches.
    I still use a wheelchair the majority of the time, but its nice to have to option of crutches.

    Jessie

  7. #27

    Using Canadian Forearm Crutches

    Quote Originally Posted by wolfgangf
    Use the handles to hang bags and purse etc.. on!

  8. #28
    I use "closed" cuffs with forearm crutches from walkeasy.com. I am T-12 inc., use KAFO braces with walker quite a bit and am still learning to "walk" with the forearm crutches using "swing-thru" or "jacknife" gait -- more like hopping on 2 legs than regular leg-by-leg walking. Balance is very tricky. Still not ready for prime time using crutches, but keep practising and am slowly improving.

  9. #29
    Quote Originally Posted by ima2003 View Post
    Does anyone use forearm crutches? I recently started walking with crutches and i have found that they are much more comfortable than using a walker. Somehow i use my arms more with the walker...my hand, arms and shoulders hurt. But when i use the crutches i have less pain. My question is, how can i use them functionally? I mean carry objects, place my crutches safely and not drop them.

    My balance is not the best so i am not ready to switch over totally,but i hope to use them effectively in the future and i would love to hear from others who are using crutches. Any wisdom you are willing to share is welcome.

    Thanks, Chris
    When I want to carry things I just grab a stores plastic bag with the cutout handles and put everything in there and carry with one of my hands.

  10. #30
    Use a backpack to carry items if you are using forearm crutches. If you are at a grocery store or walmart, throw the crutches into the cart and get your stuff and wheel it out to your car unload it, and wheel the cart back to the return area and then grab the forearm crutches to get back to your car

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