Getting off Crutches after Surgery or Injury
When should you get off your crutches after surgery or serious lower limb injury?
Over the years clients have had different reasons for “getting rid” of their crutches. These include ” I thought I didn’t need them, my surgeon told me to cast them aside, their slowing me down and sure I’m back driving again”.
There is only ONE right answer! And that is when you can walk with a NORMAL gait. This is NOT debatable or negotiable as long as you had a normal gait prior to the surgery or injury.
In order to speed up healing and recovery, normal movement is essential. If you are limping in any form this is detrimental and you run the risk of overloading the injured area and increasing the inflammatory response instead of decreasing it, as well as possibly causing injury or dysfunction in other parts of the body due to compensation occurring.
This is especially important after surgery of Hip, Knee or Ankle due to the trauma of the actual surgery.
Progressive loading of the limb is essential so there is a smooth transition from Partial weight bearing to Full weight bearing with no change in gait whether it takes 2 days, 2 weeks or 2 months, regardless what the books, Internet, physio or surgeon tells you.
No two injuries are the same and everyone heals at different speeds and therefore the right time to “get rid” off your crutches depends on your ability to walk with a NORMAL GAIT.
Obviously this client should only be walking with two crutches as his gait seriously deteriorates as he attempts to walk with one crutch and even worse with no crutches.