4 Different Types Of Crutches And Their Uses

Crutches assist people in having leg injuries or temporary and permanent disabilities to stand and move with comfort.

They not just induce additional support but also provides safety to a great extent.

In the market, you will find plenty of crutches having different shape and size.

In a particular sense, you may consider helping your injury through the main 4 different types of crutches and their uses.

Your injury type and physical ability will help you to choose for sure.

4 Different Types of Crutches and Their Uses

The most common type of crutches are the axillary crutches.

Although they have several disadvantages, still they are used in a wide range to serve various medical purposes.

To lessen the difficulties of the axillary crutches, three types of crutches are developed in the modern age.

Among them, forearm crutches are quite favorite due to its versatility and sturdy design.

It reduces the pressure over the muscle to a great extent and also, very easy to use.

Apart from these 2, you can think of getting a pair of gutter crutches.

This one is more suitable for old and unbalanced people having a little or moderately severe injury.

Though it is quite difficult to use than a typical forearm crutch, it offers ergonomics and medical recovery.

The unique crutches are the hands-free ones which require zero hand support.

These are the latest addition to the supportive crutches which allows incredibly ease and comfort.

They have limited application yet they provide excellent service.

1. Axillary Crutches

types of crutches

Axillary crutches are indeed a misnomer as they are not placed at the axilla.

In actual practice, they are positioned a bit below (in general, 5cm) the axilla along with the slightly flexed elbow.

Conventional crutches come with a 15° flexing to offer orthopedic movements.

In a common crutch, you will find an axillary tube or bar, a suitably flat handpiece and dual upright which are joined through a distant leg.

Being made of either wood or commercial aluminum, the entire crutch offers a lightweight frame to carry.

Apart from that, both the height as well the handgrips are adjustable.

Not to mention, most of the typical structures are adjustable from 48 inches up to 60 inches.

2. Forearm Crutches

types of crutches pictures

Forearm crutches are also available in the market in the name of Canadian or elbow crutches, and even as Lofstrand crutches.

For these crutches, the pivot point lies at the wrist. They are mostly of the sturdy metal tube.

Although they are metallic, yet they come with lightweight construction.

These crutches are particularly suitable for patients having strong hands with enough balance.

Their commercial design includes one forearm cuff along with a single handgrip.

The central part is the upright which features adjustment facility. However, the adjustment is quite low then the axillary one.

You can adjust the frame from 29 inches up to 35v inches with common ones.

Not to mention, the main disadvantage is its consistent pressure provision over your wrist.

3. Gutter Crutches

4 types of crutches

Gutter crutches are also preferred as arthritic crutches. They are a modified version of forearm crutches.

This one mainly composed of the soft and comfortable padded forearm.

These are quite stationary frames to use and highly suitable for older people who are unable to maintain balance and put the bodyweight on conventional supports.

Apart from that, these are qualified supportive options for patients having Rheumatoid or similar diseases who require partial weight transference.

They are mostly made of high-quality metal tubes along with one adjustable handgrip and strap.

Furthermore, the handgrip contains rubber ferrule which delivers superior comfort for the hands.

4. Hand-Free Crutches

different types of crutches

To make your hands free by pressing the frame, there come hand-free crutches.

Not to mention, they are the latest and quite a surprising addition to the crutch family.

Commonly known as knee crutches, they don’t require your hands and therefore, allows to do your works with more efficiency and ease.

The frame is not very suitable for sensitive patients but provides incredibly excellent service for those who can use it.

Without featuring any handgrip or armrests, it contains unique basements to keep your knees and straps for stickiness.

The metal body is of sturdy metal tubes having a further capacity.

These crutches are designed to protect your hands, wrists, and forearms from regular stressing.

Although there are some shortcomings, you will enjoy something different with utmost comfort for sure.


The most important thing is choosing the one that fulfills your requirements after fitting your current physical condition.

You may think of getting any of them after reading those mentioned above four different types of crutches and their uses, but only one qualifies your body.

This is why you must consult a doctor before choosing one for yourself.

With the best fitted one, you can add up some movements with ease and comfort for sure.

Hi, I'm Doctor Jo, a licensed Physical Therapist, and a Doctor of Physical Therapy. I hope you enjoy my article of stretches & exercises for common injuries and syndromes. If you have a question, just ask. Be safe. Have fun. And I hope you feel better soon.


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