Crutches are fairly familiar to all of us. It’s hard to find someone who hasn’t seen someone walking by with the help of crutches.
But not all injuries require if the crutches are used. So sometimes a patient faces a choice to make – is it the right time to start using this tool or not and when do I need crutches or when I should.
When Do You Need Crutches?
It depends on what kind of person, what kind of injury and most importantly what kind of movement the injured person will be most frequently conducting.
Also, the choice between a crutch or no crutch largely depends on the ability to walk on the injured leg, the ability to sit with the said injury, limping due to the injury.
What Injuries Require Crutches?
For different types of injuries, the patient needs different types of care and it should be no surprise that not all of them need a crutch to get through the treatment period.
In some cases, the crutch may even be proven harmful. We’ll go through them one by one.
Achilles Tendon Ruptures
Tendons are the connector fibrous tissue that provides a strong bond between a bone and muscle.
Achilles tendon is the tendon that connects the calcaneus (heel bone) to the calf muscle.
This type of rupture is common in tennis, volleyball or basketball players.
Using crutches in cases like this, you’d have to shift your weight momentarily on the injured leg.
For patients of Achilles tendon ruptures, this is an absolute no.
You cannot expect to heal the tendons if there’s even the slightest bit of pressure that may cause to rapture again.
So crutch in this case is no go.
Broken ankles are probably the most common of all the injuries we’re going to talk about here.
A broken ankle is a broad term that encompasses break, fractures of the bones that are situated around the ankle as we know it – the tibia, fibula, and talus.
These are the most general form of broken ankles and ankle sprain. Historically crutches are well known for ankle breaks.
It has been used for many generations to ease broken ankles, help their healing and spare from sprain related pain.
Usually, the affected area is advised to keep a little above the ground, so properly adjusted crutch should help the patient sufficiently.
- See also: Best Crutches For Ankle Surgery
Repeated force on leg bone structure can cause a stress fracture. This problem is relatively hard to expose from the rest of the batch.
Because of its similar symptoms overlapping with many others, it is easily misdiagnosed.
A crutch can shift the weight from the lower body to the upper body when it is needed, so to protect the fractured part from getting uncomfortable exposure a crutch is an ideal solution.
But for a fractured body part, it is never remotely a bad idea to cast it before returning to day to day activities.
Muscle strain includes muscle strain, muscle tear, muscle pull, damaged tendons.
These strain can be caused by sudden heavy lifting or pulling in the daily ordeal or sports.
A proper warm-up prevents this in cases of sports. Repeated stress may result in a much more dangerous situation.
So, for any strain in the lower body, the victim of a muscle strain can use crutches to relieve the pressure from that region until it completely heals up.
If you’re having a hard time with the strains then a crutch may be your savior.
Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) Injury
The ACL or Anterior cruciate ligament is a band of tissue that connects knee joint lower leg bone and upper leg bone.
A complete ACL tear is annotated as the separation of the ligaments. In ACL injuries, knee swells up and unbearable pain is felt.
The use of a crutch to walk is a common treatment aid for ACL injuries. So a crutch may become your companion if you fall ill to this injury.
The shinbone technically known as the tibia is the bone between the thigh bone and ankle.
This bone can be fractured in different processes. Transverse, oblique, spiral, comminuted and open fracture.
All of these will immobilize the patient and crutch can be their salvation.
When the ligaments of the ankles are strained, elongated more than its range then it may cause sheer discomfort.
The ligaments are known as Anterior talofibular ligament and Calcaneofibular ligament.
If they are strained then it’s a general prescription not pressured more. A crutch will help accomplish that goal.
A foot fracture is exactly what it sounds like, broken bones in your leg.
You’d have to fix the broken bones in their original position and keep them that way with the help with first aid kit or cast.
In the intermittent period, crutches can be used to move around. These are only a few orthopedic injuries that may or may not involve the usage of a crutch.
These are only the most frequent types of situations that require a crutch but the crutch recommendation is not limited to these only.
In any case, cross-checking with an expert doctor is always the best course of action but in adverse situations in which such consultation is not possible – the above mentioned few cases will hold your fort.
Can Doctors Prescribe Crutches?
Any expert doctor considers a few criteria.
Some of which are the intensity of the injury, whether the movement will cause more damage or not, is crutch the right type of walking aid, whether the patient can carry his or her weight on the forearms, etc.
In most cases, the doctor considers only the patient’s inner strength to perform day to day activities while healing injuries.
Usually when a patient needs to relieve any lower and middle body parts, with the help of crutches, he or she can shift the weight of the whole body to the upper body – especially to the forearms.
If you’re in a dire situation where you need to decide “when do you need crutches”, these are a few pointers to guide you whether crutches can help you or maybe make your situation even worse.
But above all, one rule of thumb is that you must be careful about your discomfort.
If you feel like the situation is getting worse stop unnecessary movements and get an expert’s opinion.