Crutches have been in existence long before the knee walker. The knee walker, however, is a far superior device than the crutches.
There are two types of crutches. The earliest type of crutches is the one that is used to fit under the armpit. The later type has arm cuffs that cradle the forearms.
The knee walker, on the other hand, is a device that supports the shin. It has a cushioned seat to support the injured leg. In addition to the seat, the Drive Medical knee walker, in particular, has the following features:
-Handle Lock Tab
-Tiller Lock Lever
-Seat Lock Knob
Both the knee walker and crutches are used as an assistive device for anyone who must remain non-weightbearing because of below the knee injury.
Differences Between Knee Walker and Crutches
Here are the major differences between the two:
1. Energy Expenditure
A study by Paul Roberts and Susan Carnes from the Royal Orthopaedic Hospital in Birmingham showed that knee walker requires 25% less energy than crutches. The Roberts and Carnes study found that both the perceived and actual work of walking are significantly lessened using the knee walker.
2. Free the Hands
In knee walker, when not in motion, the hands can be used for other purposes like reaching out for things. In crutches, whether in motion or not in motion, the hands cannot be used for other purposes.
The underarm and forearm types of crutches can cause fatigue. The underarm, in particular, can cause soreness of the chest wall, armpits and hands.
4. Other Benefits
The knee walker is far superior to that of the crutches in the following ways:
-It allows equal distribution of body weight by supporting half of the weight on the device and the other half on the strong leg.
-The muscles close to the injured leg are used regularly. This regular movement preserves the muscle bulk. It also preserves bone strength.
The knee walker can easily be steered using the handle and using the knee pressure. It is difficult to use the crutches, on the other hand, with the underarm or forearm fitting.