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How to find crutches

Do you know where to get free crutches with ease? Yeah, I guess it may sound surprising to discover you could get crutches for free? Don’t worry, you will find out how and where in this article.

Crutches are not your regular fashion items but medical mobility aids. Sometimes, you may only need crutches for two weeks to about 12 months. So, why spend a fortune acquiring what you can only use for a short time? If you could get it free, why not?

Is it Possible to Get Crutches for Free?

There are so many things one can get for free or almost free. So, getting crutches for free is not an impossible feat. The main thing is to know where to search or who to meet.

Where to Search for Free Crutches?

Search Online for Rented Crutches

How to find crutches

The internet should be your go-to place when beginning your search for free crutches. There are endless possibilities online when searching for free crutches. You can’t tell what you may come up with. You may stumble on some free offers or places for free crutches.

The major drawback with online orders may be the inability to try them out before collection. But if the pickup location is not far, you could go check it out first. See if the crutches fit perfectly underarm.

Crutches that are not your size may cause body discomfort. You may ask the owner about the specification to know if it is a possible fit.

Ask a Friend or Neighbor for used crutch

How to find crutches

There are people within your community or circle of influence you can ask. They include those in your social circle or even related social media groups. Some people may have undergone and recovered from surgery (knee, ankle, or broken bones). They may never need the crutches again.

Instead of crutches lying to waste in their basement, donors would be glad to help someone in need.

Renting of Crutches

Although this is not a free option, you can rent crutches at highly subsidized rates. It should be a lot cheaper than buying new crutches. Once you go through websites offering medical equipment supplies, you can sign up and order immediately.

Besides being affordable, you can select crutches based on your budget.

Donation of Crutches

How to find crutches

You can get free crutches through not-for-profit organizations too. Charitable organizations donate crutches to individuals and medical facilities for distribution. You can start your search here:

United States of America Crutches Donation Centers

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TORONTO — Every day across Canada, people end up in the emergency department at the hospital with sprains and fractures that can damage their ability to walk.

Some get casts or boots around their injured foot or ankle, but most also get a pair of crutches to help them get around while their injury heals.

But supply chain issues and a shortage of aluminum means that in Canada, which imports all of its aluminum crutches from overseas, the supply is running low.

Many hospitals are on their last few crutches, with no backups on the way. Oakville Trafalgar Memorial ER has around three dozen crutches left on the hanging racks inside the emergency unit.

“After that, there’s none,” Jeffrey Natividad, a registered practical nurse in Oakville, told CTV News. “They usually restock it every week. But this time, it’s all that we have.”

And about half of patients that would normally be sent home with crutches aren’t receiving them right now. One reason is that there aren’t the right sizes for some younger patients.

Without crutches, healing leg, foot or ankle injuries can be slower.

“The crutches pretty much helped relieve the pressure off for [an] injured foot,” Natividad said. “[If] there’s less pressure, then the healing is faster.”

Hospitals are hurting across North America due to the shortage. Just days ago, a hospital team in Utah put out an alert, asking for donations of gently used crutches, canes, walkers and wheelchairs.

“We are in desperate need of […] crutches, canes,” said Dr. Joey Kamerath, senior medical director of rehabilitation services at Intermountain Healthcare. “Our supply chain has run completely dry.”

There’s also reports of severe shortages in Georgia, Colorado and West Virginia.

And some stores in Canada that sell medical assistive devices are getting calls daily from desperate hospitals nationwide.

Vital Mobility, a shop based in Vaughan, Ont., told CTV News that they’ve been receiving several emails a week.

“Unfortunately there’s not product available, and we don’t know for how long this is going to happen,” Bruno Rzeznikiewiz of Vital Mobility said. “I think it’s a very severe situation.”

He said that the phone rings every couple of days as well with hospitals checking if they have anything.

“You can imagine that every fracture clinic in the hospital, how many crutches a day they will need,” he said, adding that if they did have stock, they would’ve been able to sell 3,000 to 4,000 units over the last couple of weeks based on the demand from hospitals.

“All across Canada, from B.C., Montreal, Quebec, Ontario, north, south, every single hospital has this issue right now,” Rzeznikiewiz said.

And peak crutch season is only weeks away.

“Once the winter hits, you start getting slips, trips and falls on the ice,” Scott Etherington, logistics manager at Halton Health, told CTV News.

Almost no crutches used in Canada are made domestically.

Most are manufactured in China, and right now there is a shortage of aluminum and magnesium used to make them.

The cost of shipping during the pandemic has also tripled, which means the price will likely jump from $30 for a pair of crutches to close to $100.

Rzeznikiewiz explained that some manufacturers are choosing to hold onto products because there’s no point in shipping them if the retail price would be so high that no one could buy them.

“I don’t think either they know what’s going on and how long it’s going to take,” he said.

There’s no word on when supplies could resume.

“Now we’re hearing middle of November, could push into December, January, February,” said Etherington.

To combat the issue, Halton Healthcare has started a donation drive in the hopes of getting more crutches, in a campaign called ‘We’re in a clutch, donate a crutch!’

Etherington said the idea behind it is that many families have an old pair of crutches they’ve forgotten about that is probably still useable.

“Everybody must have a pair of crutches in their basement, in their closets, that they’ve used,” he said. “I know I had a pair. The first thing I brought into the hospital. So we’ve asked the community, ‘Hey, if you have them, you don’t need them. Could you please donate them?’”

The campaign states that around 300 crutches are used monthly for patients in the three hospitals covered by Halton Healthcare.

So far, around 40 pairs of crutches have been donated, Etherington said.

“We’re trying to get it to a point where we’re actually able to get some supply and supplement with the donations so that we’re not at a point where we have nothing on the shelves,” he said.

He said that when his wife had double knee surgery, she relied on her crutches.

“If she didn’t have them when she had the surgery, I don’t know what we would have done,” he said.

“So we’re just hoping that everybody can take a look. And if they do have them, please drop them off. And we’ll go through the process of checking them, cleaning them and making sure they get back on the shelf for a patient.”

Guelph General Hospital also had to ask for donations a couple weeks ago, when they were running “quite low” on crutches.

“To date we’ve only received a handful of crutches,” said Perry Hagerman, senior communications specialist at the hospital, told CTV News in an email.

The hospital’s regular supplier told them they were backordered for at least a month, explaining that the port of origin in China experienced a surge in COVID-19 infections, which decreased capacity by 70 per cent for several weeks.

Guelph General had to ask for donations while looking for alternate suppliers, but said they’ve managed to secure enough crutches until their regular supplier comes through.

Although crutches are the main focus right now, vendors are warning that there may be a shortage in walkers and canes and other metal-made devices soon — another chapter in the story of how the pandemic has disrupted the world.

Etherington pointed out that if we had the manufacturing ability to create these essential medical assistance products here, it would prevent these situations.

A walking aid—a walker, crutches, or a cane—helps substitute for a decrease in strength, range of motion, joint stability, coordination, or endurance. It can also reduce the stress on a painful joint or limb. Using a walking aid can help you be more safe and independent in your daily activities.

Almost everyone has used a walking aid at some time, even if it was just playing around with crutches that belonged to someone else. As a result, most people think they know how to use this equipment. But there are some simple principles that will make using your walking aid easier and safer.

General safety when using walking aids

  • Look straight ahead, not down at your feet.
  • Clear away small rugs, cords, or anything else that could cause you to trip, slip, or fall.
  • Be very careful around pets and small children. They can be unpredictable and get in your path when you least expect it.
  • Be sure the rubber tips on your walking aid are clean and in good condition to help prevent slipping. You can buy replacement tips from medical supply stores and drugstores. Ice tips are also available to use outdoors in winter weather.
  • Avoid slick conditions, such as wet floors and snowy or icy driveways. In bad weather, be especially careful on curbs and steps.
  • Never use your walking aid to help you stand up or sit down. Even if you still have one hand on your walking aid, put the other hand on the surface you are sitting on or the arm of your chair. Use that hand to guide you as you sit down and to push with as you stand up. If you are less steady on your feet, rest your walking aid securely nearby, so it doesn’t fall and you can reach it easily. And use both hands on the sitting surface to help you sit down or stand up.
  • Always use your strong or uninjured leg to take the first step when you go up stairs or a curb (see instructions for curbs and stairs below). When you go back down, step with your weak or injured leg first. Remember “up with the good, and down with the bad” to help you lead with the correct leg. Ask for help if you feel unsure about going up and, especially, down stairs.

Using crutches

Crutches allow you to take some or all the weight off of one leg. They can also be used as an added support if you have some injury or condition of both legs. Your doctor will recommend crutches only if you have good balance, strength, and endurance.

Most people use axillary crutches, which go up under the arms. If you are going to use crutches for an extended period, your doctor may recommend crutches that clip around your forearms. The same walking instructions will work for either kind of crutches.

Note that when you are standing still with your crutches, they should be slightly in front of you, so the crutches and your feet form a triangle. Hold the crutches close enough to your body so you can push straight down on them, but leave room between the crutches for your body to pass through. Do not rest your underarms on the tops of your crutches, because you could damage a nerve that goes under your arm.

Be sure your crutches fit you. When you stand up in your normal posture, there should be space for two or three fingers between the top of the crutch and your underarm. When you let your hands hang down, the hand grips should be at your wrists. When you put your hands on the hand grips, your elbows should be slightly bent.

To walk using crutches

  1. Set the crutches at arm’s length in front of you. Don’t lean forward to reach farther.
  2. If you can put any weight on your weak or injured leg, move it forward, almost even with the crutches.
  3. Push straight down on the handles as you bring your good leg up, so it is even with the weak or injured leg. Keep all the weight on your hands and not on your underarms.
  4. Repeat.

When you are confident using the crutches, you can move the crutches and your injured leg at the same time, then push straight down on the crutches as you step past the crutches with your strong leg, as you would in normal walking.

If you need to keep all the weight off the injured leg:

  • Move your crutches forward, then push down on the hand grips and swing your strong leg forward almost up to the crutches. This is called “swing-to” gait, because you swing your body up to the crutches. Remember it’s best to form a triangle with the tips of the crutches and your foot. It’s harder to balance if they all line up.
  • When you are strong and your balance is good, you can swing your body between the crutches and land the strong leg in front of them, so you take a bigger step. This is called “swing-through” gait.

To go up or down a curb using crutches

Try this first with another person nearby to steady you if needed.

  1. Stand near the edge of the curb, and get your balance.
  2. If you are going up, step up with your stronger leg first. Then bring the crutches and your weaker or injured leg up to meet it. If you are going down, move the crutches down first. Step down with your weaker leg first. Then bring your stronger leg down to meet it. Remember “up with the good, and down with the bad” to help you lead with the correct leg.
  3. Push straight down on the crutches for balance and to take weight off your injured leg.
  4. Get your balance again before you start walking.

To use your crutches on stairs

Try this first with another person nearby to steady you if needed.

If the stairs have a good sturdy banister, you can hold the banister with one hand. Put both crutches together and use them with the other hand. If there is no banister or you do not think the banister is sturdy enough, use the crutches normally, holding one in each hand.

  1. Stand near the edge of the stairs.
  2. If you are going up, step up with your stronger leg first, then bring the crutches and your weaker or injured leg up to meet it. If you are going down, move the crutches down first. Step down with your weaker leg first, then bring your stronger leg down to meet it.
  3. Repeat.
  4. When you reach the level surface, get your balance again before you start walking.

Related Information

Credits

Current as of: July 1, 2021

Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:
Anne C. Poinier MD – Internal Medicine
Adam Husney MD – Family Medicine
Kathleen Romito MD – Family Medicine
Joan Rigg PT, OCS – Physical Therapy

That is why ProBrace offers you a wide range of aids. ProBrace has contact with various suppliers at home and abroad. ProBrace has selected the best elbow crutches for you from a wide range of elbow crutches.

  • How to find crutches

Thuasne Comfort Elbow Crutches

Thuasne Elbow Crutches for Kids

Thuasne Globetrotter Elbow Crutches

Thuasne Globetrotter Plus Elbow Crutches

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Want to buy elbow crutches? ProBrace has a wide range!

Do you have questions? Contact a ProBrace specialist without any obligation.

When you are recovering or easily tired, good crutches can make a world of difference. Elbow crutches can also help with problems with your balance. Crutches are good to use as a walking aid for people where one or two legs should not be fully loaded.

Elbow crutches wanted?

Crutches can be used as a walking aid. Elbow crutches are a perfect option for people who have difficulty walking or who cannot bear full weight on their legs. Elbow crutches are usually worn when there are complaints in or around the leg. Examples of when elbow crutches are worn are:

  • Rheumatoid Arthritis of the Foot
  • Fracture/trauma to foot and ankle
  • After foot or ankle surgery
  • Torn Achilles tendon
  • Various foot deformities
  • Severe forms of heel spurs
  • Rapid fatigue
  • Balance issues
  • Limited walking range
  • Minor injuries (sprains or bruises, non-surgical)
  • More serious injuries (Severe sprains or fractures, post-operative treatment)

A good pair of crutches is part of an optimal rehabilitation process. Our stools are lightweight, adjustable in height and offer a high level of user comfort. They provide a significant improvement in your mobility.

In addition to the above advantages, the Thuasne Comfort elbow crutches offer an additional adjustment option for the forearm support. The handle is also made more suitable (anatomically) to the shape of your hand.

Advice on your choice of elbow crutches?

When choosing crutches you have to take into account two criteria: the weight of the user and the useful life of the crutches. The longer the crutches are used, the more comfortable the crutches should be.

All our crutches have an ergonomic or anatomically shaped handle for optimal pressure distribution on the hands. In addition, they all have a rubber foot for the best grip. The right pair of crutches is important for mobility and aids the rehabilitation process.

Do you have questions? Please contact a ProBrace specialist without any obligation. You can contact us by phone, email or chat. You can also visit one of our office hours or our head office. For the latter, it is best to make an appointment in advance by telephone.

How to find crutches

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We offer an extensive range of modern, elegant walking sticks and walking canes. Our range includes wooden, aluminium and stylishly patterned walking canes. We also sell a range of accessories for cranes and crutches.

Forearm crutches, elbow crutches and under arm support crutches as well as Euro open cuff crutches. We supply, service, rent and hire throughout New Zealand. Our crutches are selected for their high quality and functionality.

Showing 1–24 of 51 results

How to find crutches

Standard Crutch Tip

Grey non-marking rubber tips available in four sizes. These quality rubber ferrules contain a steel insert to prolong their life. Sold individually.

How to find crutches

Patterned Folding Cane Classic Range

Lightweight, height adjustable quality aluminium walking stick.

How to find crutches

Tri-Pod Cane with Seat *

The adjustable height walking stick with fold out seat is the perfect item for those who require a walking aid, with the option of needing to sit when possible.

How to find crutches

Cane Tips Curved

Suitable for wooden and metal canes. Available in a variety of sizes to suit most Walking Sticks & Canes. These tips are high quality with steel inserts to prolong life.

How to find crutches

Coopers Cumfy Elbow Crutches Adult Double Adjustable *

High resistance (very hard to bend) anodised aluminium.

How to find crutches

Non-Slip Rubber Tips 25mm & 28mm

Non-marking rubber tips available in two sizes. 25 mm Grey, 28 mm Black. These quality rubber ferrules contain a steel insert to prolong their life. Sold individually.

How to find crutches

Contour Handle Black Folding Cane

Lightweight, height adjustable folding aluminium cane. 125 kg user weight capacity.

How to find crutches

Floral Patterned Folding Cane

High quality, lightweight, height adjustable folding aluminium cane. Folds to a compact size ideal for travelling.

How to find crutches

Quad Cane Tip 13mm & 16mm

High quality rubber tips to suit four-pronged quad Walking Sticks & Canes. Available in two sizes.

How to find crutches

Hexagon Base Crutch Tip *

Grey non-marking rubber hex tip 22mm diameter. These quality rubber ferrules contain a steel insert to prolong their life. Sold individually.

How to find crutches

SMALL Low Base Quad Walking Stick*

Small base swan neck with foam handgrip. Helps provide extra stability when walking and sitting.

How to find crutches

Free Standing Stability Foot 19mm *

An ingenious rubber walking stick tip to increase stability and allow the stick to stand.

How to find crutches

Mobilis Walking Stick T Handle *

This robust, durable octagonal based foot gives greater stability and adhesion while maintaining the required amount of flexibility.

How to find crutches

Scorched Beech Wood Cane

Scorched beech traditional wooden walking stick with fritz handle. Available in ladies and mens model.

How to find crutches

Crutches | Axilla Underarm Crutches

Superior quality lightweight aluminium underarm crutches. Height adjustable and available in three sizes. Sold as a pair.

How to find crutches

Cherry Spiral Carved Walking Stick *

An attractive cane carved from cherry stained wood with spiral detailing and derby style handle.

How to find crutches

Folding Contour Handle Walking Stick | Various Patterns

A striking patterned folding walking stick with easy height adjustment. These canes are available in purple bloom, antique rose, oriental blossom, butterfly blues, butterfly garden and metallic teal.

How to find crutches

Cane Walking Stick & Crutch Holder *

This simple, easy-to-use device attaches securely to your walking aid and will fit diameters of 16mm to 25mm (1/2″ to 1″).

How to find crutches

Mobilis Walking Stick Swan Neck

This robust, durable octagonal based foot gives greater stability and adhesion while maintaining the required amount of flexibility

HEAVY DUTY Deluxe Dbl Adj Contoured Elbow Crutch*

Extra strong but lightweight, these crutches are suitable for most heights including taller users and feature extra wide cuffs to accommodate larger forearms. They have a maximum user weight of 160 kg with comfortable ergonomic handles to reduce strain in the hands. Sold as a pair.

How to find crutches

Aluminium Height Adjustable Forearm Crutch

The INDESmed aluminium colour crutches series keep the exclusive curved an oval frame, and are available on four amazing mate colours to fit your favourite style.

How to find crutches

Adjustable Fischer Support Walking Sticks

Also called a “Derby” grip, this handle style is especially suitable for people with Rheumatoid Arthritis. It is ergonomically designed to take the weight through the palm, especially helpful when the user doesn’t have great strength in their fingers. The shaft is made of lightweight aluminium and it is easily height adjustable.
Available in Black or Bronze, Left or Right.

How to find crutches

Dark Beech Wood Cane

Dark beech traditional wooden walking stick with derby handle. Available in ladies and gents model.

How to find crutches

COMFY HANDLE Deluxe Elbow Crutch Anatomical*

With a heavier weight capacity of 127 kg, these ergonomically shaped forearm crutches suit most users. Computer-aided design techniques and thermograms were used to produce this patented comfy handle which is easy to clean and suitable for long term use. Sold as a pair.

Original Editor – The Open Physio project.

Contents

Introduction [ edit | edit source ]

How to find crutches

Crutches are a type of Walking Aids that serve to increase the size of an individuals Base of support. It transfers weight from the legs to the upper body and is often used by people who cannot use their legs to support their weight (ie short-term injuries to lifelong disabilities).

Crutch Type [ edit | edit source ]

There are three types of crutches; Axilla crutches, Elbow crutches and Gutter crutches.

  • Axilla or underarm crutches They should actually be positioned about 5 cm below the axilla with the elbow flexed 15 degrees, approximately. [1] The design includes an axilla bar, a handpiece and double uprights joined distally by a single leg. They are adjustable in height, both the overall height and handgrip height can be adjusted (adjustable approximately 48 to 60 inches (12 to 153 cm) [2]
  • Forearm crutches (or lofstrand, elbow or Canadian crutches). Their design includes a single upright, a forearm cuff and a handgrip. The height of the forearm crutches are indicated from handgrip to the floor (adjustable from 29 to 35 inches or 74 to 89 cm). [2]
  • Gutter Crutches (or adjustable arthritic crutches, forearm support crutches) These are additional types of crutches, which is composed of padded forearm support made up of metal, a strap and adjustable handpiece with a rubber ferrule. These crutches are used for patients who are on partial weight bearing like Rheumatoid disease. [1]

How to find crutches

Measurement [ edit | edit source ]

It is essential that crutches are measured and adjusted to suit every patient they are given to. There are various methods to measure both the canes.

Walking Pattern [ edit | edit source ]

There are several different walking patterns that an individual using crutches may use, including:

How to find crutches

Hospitals in Utah are asking for public donations of crutches and other mobility equipment due to supply chain shortages on these items.

Hospitals in Utah are in critical need of aluminum crutches, canes, walkers and nonmotorized wheelchairs, and officials are turning to the public for help.

Intermountain Healthcare, University of Utah Healthcare, the Utah Hospital Association and Steward Health Care has launched the LeanOnUtah donation drive aimed at collecting the gently used equipment that might be sitting around in Utahns’ closets, garages or attics.

Over the next three Saturdays, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., items can be dropped off at several locations throughout the state.

“We are in desperate need of your canes, walkers, wheelchairs and crutches in order to provide patients with the care they need,” said Dr. Joey Kamerath, senior medical director for rehabilitation at Intermountain Healthcare. “Here at Intermountain, we go through 1,800 pair of crutches every single month, yet unfortunately our supply chain has run completely dry on this equipment.”

Part of the issue, Kamerath said, is the global shortage of aluminum, but what makes things even more complex is the fact that raw and fabrication materials are also in shortage and it’s not known when this equipment will be available. While hospitals haven’t completely run out of the equipment yet, officials say they want to get ahead of the situation before it becomes a crisis.

“I’ve never seen a shortage of crutches this significant, and normally it’s an afterthought because they’re always so readily available,” Kamerath said. “My biggest worry now is someone will have a broken leg or stroke and we won’t be able to send them home with the walking assist devise they need.”

Dr. Darrel Brodke, chairman of the department of orthopedics at U of U Health, said this time of year is always busy with orthopedic surgeries due to skiing accidents and other sports-related activities.

“Surgery of the hip, knee, broken ankle or leg really is the first stage of healing,” he said. “The next period of time is about allowing the body to heal, which often requires not putting your full body weight down. So the uses of crutches, canes, wheelchairs and walkers all play a key role in keeping excessive force to come down on the limb, but also allow them to be up and mobile and moving around. They play an immense role in the patient’s healing process.”

Martha Gamble, chief nursing officer for Jordan Valley Medical Center, said the shortage is affecting hospitals across the nation. Utah, she said, is by far the most giving state and she’s confident the state will lead the nation in this charitable cause. She suggested volunteer youth organizations, high school students, community members and church groups could be a great asset in collecting the equipment.

Once collected, caregivers will sanitize and inspect the devises for safety before being sent to hospitals for use. They will then be given to patients with a note letting them know it was generously donated by someone in the community. All devices that can’t be repaired will be properly recycled. Wooden canes cannot be accepted because they cannot be properly sanitized.

“I have been so impressed by the spirit of community in this state and hopeful that our friends and neighbors can rally to solve this unique health care need,” Brodke said. “In coming days, we will have surgical patients or emergency department patients with a broken leg who may be discharged without crutches unless we can find creative solutions like this community drive.”

For more information, visit leanonutah.com. Volunteers are also being asked to help sort and sanitize the donated items. To sign up, go to justserve.org.

Donation Dates and Times

Donations can be made on the following dates between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.:

  • Saturday, Oct. 30
  • Saturday, Nov. 6
  • Saturday, Nov. 13

Donation Locations

Logan Regional Hospital

500 E. 1400 North, Logan

Intermountain Homecare Ogden

3776 Wall Ave., South Ogden

Intermountain Medical Center

5169 S. Cottonwood St., Murray

Utah Valley Hospital

1034 N. 500 West, Provo

St. George Regional Hospital

1380 E. Medical Center Drive, St. George

Davis Hospital

1600 W. Antelope Drive, Layton

Jordan Valley West

3460 S. 1400 West, West Valley City

Jordan Valley Medical Center

3580 W. 9000 South, South Jordan,

Mountain Point Medical Center

3000 Triumph Blvd., Lehi

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How to find crutches

How to find crutches

How to find crutches