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TKR Worried about crutches

Vida

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It’s five days before my right tkr. I had no problem using crutches after my hip replacement 8 years ago so didn’t give it much thought. I decided to practice stairs this weekend and had a rather rude awakening. First, my left leg post hip replacement is a lot weaker than the right, despite walking 40 mins five times a week and doing weekly Pilates. Second, I totally forgot that I have zero flesh under my left arm post mastectomy six years ago. So using the crutch on that side is really unbearable.

I am lucky in that we have converted a downstairs room into a bedroom so when I get home there is no rush for stairs: a walker will be fine. But I am concerned about passing the post surgical physio check. Any advice? I am not sure if I should rent forearm crutches. Would they be more difficult to use?
 

jaspa

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@Vida best wishes for your surgery. I could not use crutches and the walker worked fine for me. I still have it handy at night when going to the bathroom or at the bottom landing for my 2 steps going out of the house.
Remember to rest and take your meds.
 

Jaycey

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@Vida I think forearm crutches would be a better choice for you. Can you rent them or perhaps find a used pair in a charity shop? Also, physio will work with you before you are discharged. They will make sure and address any needs you have and have you going up and down stairs before you leave the hospital.
 

lovetocookandsew

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I used a walker for a few weeks after my surgeries, then went right to a cane until I put it away also and just walked without any aids. I have a hard time with crutches, so avoid them whenever possible. I do much better with a walker and cane, and only use crutches occasionally now when my pain levels get so high I can't bear to put any weight at all on my leg. But, I have to be extra careful as I'm not as stable with them as with a cane.

In the hospital I only used a walker, and they made sure I was able to go up and down a couple of steps as that's what I have in my house. We don't have any stairs, just a step at the front and back doors.

Ask your surgeon if you can go from the walker to a cane, instead of crutches; IMHO whatever you feel more stable with is what you should use.
 

Carol Anna

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I was sent home with two canes but due to arthritis in my thumb joints and weak wrists I was not safe on them. Fortunately I had elbow crutches at home which I purchased from the hospital when I had my arthroscopy a couple of years ago. I can now walk round without anything but still use the elbow crutches to keep me walking straight so I don't twist the kneee again and they also make me feel safer. I only use one for going up and down stairs for balance. But as lovetocookandsew says everyone is different. When I go out today it will be using one of the crutches - if nothing else it stops others from walking into you or forcing you to take avasive action swerving round them which is not good for my new knee at this stage in my recovery ( 6 weeks). I am sure your PT will make sure that you have the correct aid so you can manage at home. Take care xx
 

DEL2022Jan-23

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Standard crutches were too difficult for me to use, I kept getting tripped up by them and as I am definitely on the plump side I ended up with bruises and blisters on my hands and underarms. The elbow crutches/ forearm crutches are a lot more comfortable, less likely to trip me up and you can use your hand to open a door safely while still being supported. I think they also make the transition to a cane more natural. My crutches were free under the health service we have here in Ireland.
 

jaspa

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I could not use crutches and being heavier I think a walker is a much safer method of getting around.
 

kneeper

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A walker is what I was sent home with. On inside stairs with a railing they showed me how to use a cane and the railing. But luckily I didn't have to do those stairs right away. Just an "open" step or two into the house and the walker worked for that.
 

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