What Are the Different Types of Crutches?


Being prescribed a set of crutches usually means that you have an injury to the foot, ankle, or leg, or that you are recovering from surgery. These injuries are common and treated regularly by a podiatrist. Sometimes the injuries are due to a fall or a traumatic injury. No matter the cause of the injury, crutches are imperative for those who have injured their foot or ankle and can no longer move around easily.

There are different types of crutches: axillary (also known as underarm), forearm, platform, strutter, and leg support crutches. Crutches are made in all sizes, for adults and children. They are usually adjusted to your specific height and needs when at the podiatrist’s office.

Axillary crutch: This is the most common type of crutch. They are usually adjustable and come in wood or aluminum. When standing normally, the top of the crutch should extend from a point the width of two to three fingers below the armpit 6 inches to 8 inches outside your foot. Your hand should rest at a level that allows you to flex your elbow about 30 degrees.

Forearm crutch: This crutch gives you increased flexibility which allows you to bear a greater amount of weight. The cuff on the crutch should sit 1 inch to 1.5 inches below the back of the elbow.

Platform crutch: Also commonly known as a triceps crutch. The lower cuff should lie 0.5 inches to 1.5 inches below the back of the elbow to avoid bony contact on the arm, yet provide stability.

Strutter crutch: This crutch is a type of underarm crutch that has larger crutch tips that remain flat on the floor. This allows for improved weight distribution and more even walking gait.

Leg support crutches: These are like a knee scooter. They are common for below the knee injuries and injuries where the whole leg must be immobilized.

Injured your leg, foot, or ankle and need some crutches? Not sure which are right for your injury? Call us. Call Achilles Foot and Ankle Surgery, PC located in Martins Ferry, Ohio and St. Clairsville, Ohio, as well as Wheeling West Virginia. There Dr. Bruce G. Blank can help pick the right type of crutches for you. Call 740-633-4188 or make an appointment online today.