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Using Crutches After Surgery or Injury

Medical conditions of the leg are among the most common. They range from sprained ankles to damaged ligaments and tendons, joint replacement and fractures. Whatever be the cause, in most cases doctors tell patients to start walking as soon as possible after surgery/treatment. This will help to strengthen the injured leg and speed up the recovery. Walking support is usually required for a few weeks after any major leg surgery or injury. The most convenient way to get this and maximize mobility is for the patient to use crutches.

Non Emergency Medical Transportation

Walking

Walking with crutches takes a little getting used to. These tips will make the process easier:

• Adjust the crutches to your height. The handles should be alongside your hips and the top should be about an inch below your armpit.

• Let your forearms and hands carry your weight, not your armpits.

• Keep your elbows bent so there is no excess pressure on the elbow joint.

• Except on stairs or uneven surfaces, keep your eyes focused ahead of you and don’t look down at your feet.

• Keep the tip (bottom) of the crutches around 3 inches away from your feet at all times so you do not trip over them.

• Place the crutches about 1 foot ahead of you, lean on the handles and move your body forward. Let the crutches take your weight. 

• Move your strong leg forward and then bring up your injured leg.

• Do not step forward with the injured leg first as this will place a strain on it.

• Repeat this motion to continue moving ahead.


Driving

Walking with crutches becomes easier with practice. However, when it comes to traveling long distances, the crutches can only get you to your car door. They cannot help you to drive. Even if you can clamber into the driver’s seat and are able to use your right leg for the pedals, any sudden movement or jerk could cause pain in the injured leg which could make you lose concentration. This could, in the worst case, result in an accident. The bottom line is that it is safer to avoid driving until you can discard the crutches.

So how do you travel? Taxis may not always be available when you need them. Using public transport can be unsafe because of the problems in entering and exiting buses and trains while on crutches. But you may need to travel to see your doctor, for work, for social occasions, or even just to go to the movies. The right way to move around town is to use Non-Emergency Medical Transportation (NEMT). NEMT is a special service for those who have medical conditions that affect heir mobility and do not permit them to drive themselves. This is not an ambulance service which is only for an emergency. NEMT provides specially equipped vans and drivers to transport those with medical conditions where they want to go. Getting in and out of the vehicles is easy and the drivers are trained in transporting those with mobility issues. You can call for an NEMT vehicle when you need it or schedule a trip in advance. The availability of doorstep pickup, event standby and other conveniences make this the best way to remain mobile until you can safely drive again.

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