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This information has been translated into other languages – see the links at the bottom of this page.
The crutches are the correct length if there is a 2 to 3 finger space between the top of the crutch pad and your armpit.
The hand grip should be at wrist level when your arm is hanging by your side. Your elbows are slightly bent as you push down on the handgrips.
Support your weight with the hand grips, not the crutch pads under your armpits.
Your weight bearing order is:
Use the method you were shown with the instructions below.
Repeat these steps to keep walking—crutches, injured leg, good leg.
Note: Don’t lean on the crutch top
Going Up Stairs
Going Down Stairs
Use the crutch in the hand opposite to the injured leg. This gives you better support and helps you walk with more normal movements.
Only use this method if your therapist has shown you. You’ll be shown either partial weight bearing or weight-bearing as tolerated.
Follow these steps to walk:
Repeat these steps to keep walking.
Note: If you start with your left crutch, reverse the above order.
Follow the same instructions for crutch walking to:
Your doctor or physiotherapist will tell you when you can stop using your crutches.
To see this information online and learn more, visit MyHealth.Alberta.ca/Alberta/Pages/use-crutches.aspx.
For 24/7 nurse advice and general health information call Health Link at 811.
Current as of: Oct 21, 2020
Author: Allied Health (Physiotherapy), Alberta Health Services
Care instructions may be adapted by your healthcare provider. If you have questions about a medical condition or this instruction, talk with your doctor or appropriate healthcare provider.