Lower leg injuries happen. It can be in the form of ruptured achilles tendon, broken foot, lower leg amputation, broken or sprained ankle, diabetics’ trophic plantar ulcer, rheumatic feet, gout or bunions.
For the rehabilitation of lower leg injuries a knee walker is often prescribed by health care professionals. This assistive device is also known as roll about or orthopedic scooter.
This device has a tiller mechanism, hand brake, handgrip, seat and three or four wheels.
Top 7 reasons for using a knee walker
Here are the top 7 reasons why a knee walker is often prescribed for lower leg injuries:
The term non-weightbearing refers to the restrictions placed on a lower leg injury. This means no weight whatsoever in the injured lower limb, even for a second whether seated or standing. Usually, non-weightbearing is prescribed after a foot or ankle surgery. Non-weightbearing is required in order not to disrupt the internal healing process, prevent stress by weight and reduce swelling.
The knee walker keeps the weight off the injured limb as this weak limb can be placed on the seat. This device can then be steered with the knee and becomes a substitute lower leg.
2.Uses less energy
A study by Paul Roberts and Susan Carnes at the Royal Orthopaedic Hospital, Birmingham, demonstrated that this device uses 25% less energy than crutches. The study further demonstrated that this walking aid requires little more effort than walking.
3.Alternative to crutches
According to the study, this walking aid is a healthy alternative as crutches can cause armpit blisters and soreness of the hands and chest wall.
4.Frees the hands
When not in motion, this walking aid frees the hands. You are then free to reach out for things and even cook your favorite meal.
This assistive technology is easy to maneuver in tight spaces inside your home, office or shops. The Generation 2 Weil knee walker, in particular, has a zero-turn radius (ZTR) lever that enables user to change the front wheels from rigid to swivel to make sure the alignment integrity is sustained. The ZTR feature allows the user to easily get out of tight places without risk of tipping.
According to the Roberts and Carnes study, the health benefits of using this medical product include:
- Body weight is distributed through both legs;
- The injured part is elevated;
- Muscles near the injured limb are used extensively, thereby preserving the bone strength; and
- Because of the extensive use of the muscles nearby the injured part, muscle bulk is preserved.
The Generation 2 Weil, in particular, has a unique scissor mechanism to adjust the height.