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5 Tips for Dealing With Crutches

The primary goal here at William Schell, MD, is to keep you moving with healthy joints, but sometimes that road has a little bump in the form of crutches.

Whether you’ve joined the two million people who sprain an ankle each year in the United States or the 100,000 people who undergo an ACL repair, crutches may figure into your recovery. 

When this is the case for you, Dr. Schell and our team want this challenging phase of your recovery to go as smoothly as possible, so we’re outlining five tips to help you deal with crutches.

1. Do a little rearranging at home

If you know you’re going to be using crutches after we perform knee or ankle surgery, it’s a good idea to prep your living space beforehand. Roll up those loose rugs and bathmats, cover wires running across the floor, and rearrange your furniture in a way that better accommodates moving around with crutches.

You should pay close attention to spaces like your bathroom and make sure you have support systems that allow you to take a shower and get up from the toilet.

2. Keep everything in reach

Whether it’s your work space, your TV space, or your bed space, we can’t underscore how important it is to have everything you need within reach so you don’t have to get up time and again to fetch something.

Create spaces, such as side tables, where you’ve got everything you need, such as remotes, phones, chargers, etc.

3. Find solutions for moving things

Many people don’t realize how limiting life can be with crutches until they have to use them. One of the biggest challenges is carrying something — whether it’s a plate of food, a glass of water, or a book.

Many of our clients have come up with great workarounds, such as rolling tables, backpacks, and fanny packs that carry water bottles. Don’t forget that you’re one of the things that needs to be moved, so get a good rolling chair that can cover ground in your home.

4. Make friends with a stool

Whether you’re cooking, talking on the phone, or even working at your laptop, a stool that’s higher up than a chair is a great way to rest and maintain easier mobility.

5. Ask for help

Your time with crutches will be limited, so don’t be afraid to ask some friends and family members for a little help during this time. We’re lucky that we live in a city that delivers most everything to our doors, but you’ll still need help with many day-to-day tasks, such as cleaning or cooking.

With a little patience, planning, and prepping, you should be able to weather your stint with crutches with relative ease.

If you have any questions or concerns about using your crutches, please contact our New York City office, which is located on the Upper West Side on Columbus Circle.

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