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Rachael Lowe, Ammar Suhail and Laura Ritchie  



Crutches are a type of Walking Aids that serve to increase the size of an individuals Base of support.

Types of crutches

There are 2 main types of crutches; axillary crutches and elbow crutches.

Axillary crutches is a misnomer because they should not be placed in the axilla at all. They should actually be positioned about 5cm below the axilla. Thier deisgn includes an axillary bar, a handpiece and double uprights joined distally by a single leg. They are basically adjustable in height. Both the overall height and handgrip height can be adjusted. Axillary crutches are adjustable aprroximately 48 to 60 inches(122 to 153 cm).[1]

Forearm crutches also known as lofstrand or elbow or canadian crutches. Thier design includes a single upright, a forearm cuff and a hand grip. The height of the forearm crutches are indicated from handgrip to the floor (adjustable from 29 to 35 inches or 74 to 89 cm).


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

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

  • 2 point
  • 3 point
  • 4 point


The use of crutches may be indicated if a patient:

  • Has lost the use of a limb (it is either injured or amputated).
  • Is having problems with Balance.

See also

Recent Related Research (from Pubmed)


References will automatically be added here, see adding references tutorial.

  1. O'Sullivan SB, Schmitz TJ, Fulk G. Physical rehabilitation. FA Davis; 2013 Jul 23.