I used a walker for a day or 2 after BTKR and then went right to crutches. Never had a walker at home, only the crutches (Canadian ones at the forearm). I used the crutches for about 2 weeks. I did not use them in the house after 2 weeks and I used at least one for another week or 2 outside on uneven ground. Then went straight to walking as my ROM increase.
It’s like this, a walker gives the most support and the least mobility, crutches gives support and some mobility, the cane gives the least support but the most mobility. Seven months after a BTKR, gives the most support with the most mobility.
I think you need to not to worry about it, what you use will be obvious while in the hospital between you, OT, and PT people. When I went to TKR training class we all had to go up and down stairs on crutches (which I already knew because of previous surgery) and walk around the room on a walker. What you went home on depended on your status, your release situation (step down care vs home), and whether you had stairs in your house.
So after all that, when I left the hospital, I left with a cane.
They also gave me all this OT stuff and I think the only thing I ever used more than a couple of times is the magic sock putter on-er.
I personally liked the walker for the first week or two. I felt more stable, had a place to sit if I needed it while out and at home could use it to "carry" things around, something you can't do with crutches. After that I went to a cane but soon found I kept leaving it in another room so only used it outside because of the ice and snow, actually I still use it outside if it's slippery.
See what you think while you are in the hospital - they'll have all three choices there and you will be able to decide which one is right for you.
Best of luck Desertqueen - when are you scheduled for surgery?
WOW Thanks all. LTKR on May 4th 09. SOON! I like the advice about making a choice in the hospital. Sounds like it will be easier. I cant wait to get it over with and get my life back. I have to get up and down on stage risers. I'll tell you, that hurts. I have one week to go.