CHEO Logo
Decrease Text SizeIncrease Text SizeFacebookTwitterYoutube

Banner
image of kids smiling with text "programs and services" 

Physiotherapy - Walking with crutches

image of PDFClick here to download a printable version of the information from this page.

Before your surgery:

  • Buy crutches from CHEO's Emergency Department or a local vendor
  • Practice using your crutches

Crutch walking basics:

  • Keep your crutches pressed against your rib cage.
  • Support your weight with your hands not your armpits.
  • Wear a good supportive shoe, with a non-skid sole.
  • Take care in the rain, snow and ice. The rubber tips on the crutches may slip.
  • Be careful around floor mats, or remove them if possible.

Sitting and standing with crutches

Getting into a Chair

  1. Approach the chair.
  2. Turn around so that the back of the good leg touches the chair.
  3. Place both crutches in one hand and hold handles of the crutches.
  4. Place your other hand on the chair, then lower yourself down to the chair slowly.

Sitting With a Long Leg Cast

  1. Sit down (see above).
  2. Lift the affected leg up onto a chair or footstool and distribute the weight evenly through your cast (not only on the heel).
  3. If no chair or footstool is available, place a crutch under the cast and rest the cast on it only for a short time.

Getting out of a Chair:

  1. Slide yourself to the edge of the chair.
  2. Place both crutches in one hand and hold handles of the crutches.
  3. Push up from the chair with one hand, while using the other hand to push on the crutch handles. Stand up on your good leg.
  4. Once standing, place a crutch under each arm.

Partial Weight Bearing 

Your weight rests partly on the affected leg and partly on the crutches

How to Walk

  1. Place crutches approximately 1 foot ahead of you.
    Place the affected foot on the floor between the crutches.
    Keep your affected foot on the floor, then take a step past the crutches with your good leg.

Using Stairs

It is safer to use a handrail. Start by putting both crutches on the side opposite the railing, or have someone carry one crutch for you.

Going Up

  1. Support your weight on the crutch handle, the handrail, and partly on the affected foot.
  2. Lift the good leg onto next step.
  3. Lift the affected leg and crutches up to this level, placing weight on both feet.

Going Down

  1. Standing on the good leg, lower the crutches and affected leg onto the lower step.
  2. Transfer your weight to the crutch handles,stair railing and your affected foot.
  3. Bring the good leg down to the lower step. 

 

This video demonstrates how to properly use crutches for partial weight bearing injuries. Your doctor will tell you how much weight you are allowed to place on your injured leg. This video tutorial covers safety tips and demonstrates how to walk, sit down, stand up and use the stairs on crutches.

Non-Weight Bearing

Do not put any weight on the affected leg. Support all weight with your good leg and your hands on the crutches. 

How to Walk

  1. Place crutches about 1 foot ahead of you.
  2. Place all the weight on your hands and swing your good leg slightly ahead of the crutches.

Using Stairs

It is safer to use a handrail. Start by putting both crutches on the side opposite the railing, or have someone carry one crutch for you.

Going Up

  1. Support your weight on the hand rail and the crutch handle.
  2. Lift the good leg onto next step.
  3. Lift the crutches and affected leg up to this level.

Going Down

  1. Standing on the good leg, lower the crutches and the affected leg onto lower step.
  2. Place all the weight through your hands and bring the good leg down to this level.

 

This video demonstrates how to properly use crutches for non-weight bearing injuries. This means you cannot put any weight on your injured leg and must keep your foot off the ground. Your doctor will tell you how much weight you are allowed to place on your injured leg. This video tutorial covers safety tips and demonstrates how to walk, sit down, stand up and use the stairs on crutches.

Feather weight bearing:

Weight is shared between the crutches and good leg, with the affected foot just touching the ground.

Follow the instructions for partial weight bearing, but just touch the floor lightly with the affected foot.

Questions?

If you have any further questions about how to use crutches, please contact CHEO’s physiotherapy department at (613) 737-7600 or Ontario Telehealth at 1-866-797-0000.

Take Action
Quick Links

Programs & Health Info
magnifying glass

Letter aLetter bLetter cLetter eLetter fLetter g Letter hLetter iLetter jLetter kLetter lLetter mLetter nLetter oLetter pLetter qLetter rLetter sLetter t Letter uLetter vLetter wLetter xLetter yLetter z
 
Zoomed image Close