The knee walker and crutches are often used to better manage pain and recover from below the knee injuries.
Below the knee injuries can be caused by foot surgery, breaks, sprains, amputation and ulcers of the foot.
The knee walker is an assistive device with 4 wheels, a handle, a hand brake and a seat. Some knee walkers have a built-in basket. The injured leg is elevated or placed on the seat of this device when moving forward.
More and more health care professionals are prescribing the knee walker over crutches because of the following reasons:
1. Uses less energy
A study by Roberts and Carnes showed that this assistive device required 25% less energy than crutches. As a result of using this device, the actual work of walking is significantly reduced. The use of crutches, on the other hand, causes fatigue.
2. No physical discomfort
Crutches can cause soreness to the armpit, chest wall and hands. The knee walker, on the other hand, does not cause physical discomfort.
3. Preserves bone strength and muscle bulk
This walking aid helps preserve bone strength and muscle bulk as the muscles near the injured leg are extensively used.
4. Ideal for indoor and outdoor use
This walking aid is ideal of indoor as well as outdoor use.
5. Height adjustable
The seat and handle height of the knee walker can be adjusted without the need of tools.
It is safe to use the knee walker because of its dual braking system.
7. Frees the hands
When using the crutches, the hands are preoccupied and cannot be used for other purpose. For the knee walker, during stationary stance, the hands can be used for other purposes like cooking.
8. Even distribution of body weight
This technology evenly distributes the body weight of the user by supporting half of the weight on the device and the other half on the non-injured leg.
Before using this device, it is essential to practice the act of transferring on and off the device. For the safe use of this walking tool, be aware of hazards and avoid them.