How To Choose The Right One For You
Having a lower get injury can have a serious impedance on your mobility. The good news is you have options on how to move around, staying mobile and independent. If the injury is to just one leg, you have two main options, knew walker ( also known as a knee scooter) or crutches. Having to look at the difference between a knee walker or a set of crutches may not be your first choice of something to do, but it is a smart one if you are in a situation that has your mobility limited. Pasadena, TX is one of the largest Houston area communities and is a bit spread out so choosing options that help you get around both in your home and community. While your decision on which to choose won’t get rid of your injury, choosing the solution that works best for you can certainly make the time you spend with your injury a little easier to bear.
Let’s check out some of the GOOD and the BAD about knee walkers and crutches:
CRUTCHES – The Good
First, crutches are inexpensive, no question there. They are seldom found for rent anymore because the price to purchase is so low. Secondly, they are light, and when not in use, can be tucked away easily enough. If you have some decent upper body strength, crutches will allow you to be quite mobile, navigating curbs, stairs, and moving forward at a fairly quick pace (once you get used to using them that is.)
CRUTCHES – The Bad
While those who are in great shape and are fairly strong can have an easy time with crutches, those who are older tend to experience just the opposite. Because the crutches snug underneath the armpits and your weight bears on that area, if you have sensitive skin and not much fat or muscle in that area, you can expect a good deal of irritation over the course of time that you’re using crutches. In addition, they require a good bit of upper body strength and put a great deal of strain on shoulders and wrists as well. You can easily wear yourself out moving from room to room using crutches, making tasks almost impossible to accomplish around the house. If the leg that is not injured is weak, then getting around on crutches can be downright dangerous as they can cause your leg to give out as it bears much of the burden as you move.
KNEE WALKERS – The Good
If you do have mobility issues due to an injury to your leg (ankle, knee, foot) then having a knee walker can certainly take some of the pain out of the incident. Knee walkers are kind of like the Cadillac of mobility assistance (especially when compared with an old pair of crutches.) You simply place the injured leg on the pad, grab the steering wheel and push off with the other leg. Some might even recall some days in their youth where they rode similar scooters just for the fun of it! Once you get the hang of it, you can move along at a quick pace and because your weight is supported by the knee walker itself (vs. you having to bear a lot of the weight yourself when using crutches), using them is more comfortable than cumbersome.
A cherished benefit of knee walkers is that when you are not moving, you have full use of both of your hands, when using crutches your arm mobility is always limited. If you are trying to get a cup of coffee and carry it back to your desk, there is just not a viable way of doing that on crutches, yet with the knee scooter you could put a travel mug in the basket.
Another benefit to the knee scooter is that it can be used in just about any weather condition. That comes in handy in Houston storms. It also takes a lot less effort to use, which is good in the Houston heat. You are a lot less likely to look like a sweat rag due to all the exuded effort of using crutches if you use a knee scooter instead.
KNEE WALKERS – The Bad
While knee walkers certainly have some positive attributes, they aren’t a perfect choice for everyone. For some, knee walkers can feel clumsy and cumbersome, even hard to use to travel in a straight line. If the wheelbase is too large, then going through some doorways may be hard to do, and don’t even think about trying to wheel your knee walker upstairs.
For most, it seems that knee walkers can be an excellent solution for the largest number of people considering their stability and forgiving nature, especially for those who are older and may not possess as much strength as they did in their younger days.
How to Properly Use the Knee Walker
In many ways a knee scooter operates like a toy scooter. You place the knee of the injured leg on the knee pad and balance your weight over the center of the scooter. Using your non-injured foot to push on the ground to gain momentum, gliding around. You need to remember to always keep the knee of the injured leg on the pad as you are moving. Start using it in your home first, this will allow you to get comfortable on how to us your knee walker. Once you are comfortable, move to using it on short trips outside the house. Take it to a friend’s house or to drug store to figure out how to use the knee walker outside the comfort of your home.
Now while getting up and down from a sitting position to and from your knee walker will take getting used to, never fully use it to get into sitting position or pulling yourself up. Knee scooters are top heavy and can topple over, sending you to the ground. Also, be careful not to overreach or stretch too far away from your knee walker as this can throw off your balance.
One of the biggest complaints about using knee walkers is their back hurting after some use. This is because the knee walker is not adjusted to the proper height. When you come into Bayshore Medical Supply, our staff are willing to assist you in adjusting your knee walker.
If you do wish to rent or even purchase a knee walker, Bayshore Medical Supply is the #1 source for knee walkers and knee scooters in Pasadena TX and the surrounding Houston area. With over 50 knee walkers in various sizes, we always have units ready to rent. We also stock a large selection of crutches and canes. With different styles and selections to suit a wide selection of customer needs. We’re open Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday from 9:00am to 5:30pm, Thursday 9:00am to 8:00pm, and Saturday from 10:00am to 2:00pm.