A knee walker can be a welcome alternative to crutches for people who are recovering from knee, foot, ankle, or lower-leg injuries and surgeries. Also called leg walkers or knee cruisers, these mobility aids are designed to enhance independence, while allowing injuries to heal.
They look somewhat like a child's push scooter with the addition of an elevated platform and pad where users can comfortably rest one knee. When using a knee walker, limited-to-no upper body strength is required, which reduces the chance of back strain and fatigue that may otherwise occur with crutches.
To get around, individuals stay in a natural, upright position and use their healthy, strong foot and leg to propel forward and traverse indoor and relatively smooth outdoor surfaces.
The walker's handlebars are used to turn the front wheels and make directional steering easy for the user to navigate corners or tight areas. Some models come with three wheels for greater turning and agility. Others feature four wheels that enhance stability during use.
The position of the knee pad helps ensure the injured leg, knee, ankle, or foot remains comfortably in place and experiences no weight-bearing impact. A wheeled leg walker is also easy to transport. It is lightweight and can be easily folded to fit in the back or trunk of any sized vehicle.
There are a variety of models from which to choose and many
mobility retailers also rent knee cruisers for those who only need them
for a short period of time. To ensure you find a model that is sized
properly and satisfies your requirements, "test drive" a few models. See
which walkers feel the most comfortable and are the easiest to use and
You should not feel like you are exerting energy to use the walker. It should glide across surfaces and be easy to steer.
You should also feel stable when propelling the walker, as well as when you stop and rest with your knee elevated on the pad.
The knee pad should feel supportive and provide the capability to adjust it to the proper height to ensure excellent balance.
The handlebars should also be adjustable to get the best possible fit and function. Test the handlebar brakes to make sure they feel right to you and operate well. Also, check for weight capacity to be sure any model you are considering matches your needs.
Before you finalize your purchase, ask to see the warranty to understand exactly what is covered. Find out how and where to get your walker serviced, should it need it. Also, ask about delivery timing and set-up services before you sign on the dotted line.
Published by Jules Sowder
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