How to walk on crutches

To stand up, grasp both crutches with one hand by their handgrips and hold them upright on your injured side. With your free hand against the chair seat or arm, push yourself to a standing position on the uninjured leg. Move one crutch to the unaffected side, and put it snugly under that arm. Then put the other crutch under the arm on your injured side. Don’t move until both crutches are secure.

Put your weight on the handgrips; your arm muscles should do the work. The padded underarm is only to keep the crutches in position.

There are two ways to walk on crutches: bearing some weight on the injured side or keeping your injured leg completely off the ground. Your doctor will tell you which way to use.

To walk on one leg, carefully place the two crutch ends about 1 foot in front of you and about 4 inches out from the sides of your feet. Put your weight on the handgrips and swing forward, landing on your uninjured leg at or just ahead of the crutches. That’s one step. Move the crutches ahead the same way for each step.

If the injured side can take some weight, position the crutches 1 foot ahead as above and take a short step with the injured leg, supporting most of your weight on the handgrips. Then, with the uninjured leg, take a step beyond the crutches.

To go up stairs, the good foot leads, then the crutches. Going down, the crutches go first, then the good foot.