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Using crutches

tedthered64tedthered64 Posts: 84
edited 18. Aug 2015, 04:11 in Living with Arthritis archive
Hi all,
I have avascular necrosis of femoral head, consultant seems to think I will suffer segmental breakdown within 4 months. I also have advanced bi lateral arthritis in both hips and both knees.

I was contemplating using crutches to take the weight off my hip and hopefully slow down the collapse, I am 51 and consultant as advised age 55 would be his preferred age for a total hip replacement.

Can anyone offer me any advice regards this please.
Thank you
Ted
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Comments

  • dreamdaisydreamdaisy Posts: 31,567 ✭✭✭
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hello, I've been using crutches since 2002 but my condition is different to yours. I was fortunate in that I was taught how to use them, is this idea your own or have you been recommended to try them?

    If it's just the one joint that is affected then you may find that one crutch is enough. It should be held in the opposite hand to the affected joint and the handle should be set to just above hip-height. I prefer the cuff variety because if you let go they swing off the forearm rather than clattering to the floor! The crutch should be moved forward at the same time as you stride with the affected side, this allows you to transfer weight off the that side to the stick. If you find that two is better then they should be used alternately, not both swung forward together and then you step. I need two because I have wrecked joints on both sides. DD
    Have you got the despatches? No, I always walk like this. Eddie Braben
  • tedthered64tedthered64 Posts: 84
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    dreamdaisy wrote:
    Hello, I've been using crutches since 2002 but my condition is different to yours. I was fortunate in that I was taught how to use them, is this idea your own or have you been recommended to try them?

    If it's just the one joint that is affected then you may find that one crutch is enough. It should be held in the opposite hand to the affected joint and the handle should be set to just above hip-height. I prefer the cuff variety because if you let go they swing off the forearm rather than clattering to the floor! The crutch should be moved forward at the same time as you stride with the affected side, this allows you to transfer weight off the that side to the stick. If you find that two is better then they should be used alternately, not both swung forward together and then you step. I need two because I have wrecked joints on both sides. DD
    Hi thanks for the reply,
    It was my idea, came to me last night, when once again totally unable to sleep due to pain, it's now beyond a joke.
    Unfortunately it is in both hips and consultant as stated I will need a total hip replacement in both although the left hip could suffer a segmental collapse at anytime and the right one isn't far behind.

    I am hoping that by using crutches it will take some of the Weight off my right hip, I have rang the Drs this morning and asked for a telephone consultation regards this.
    Once again thanks for replying.
  • barbara12barbara12 Posts: 20,860
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hello Ted
    I have had one hip replaces and my other is not far off, I use crutches sometimes one sometimes 2 depending on how my back feels,I have bought a set of flex*feet for the bottom they are a sort of shock absorber and it was to save my shoulder from getting painful..I sometimes think they are not working the same till I use a crutch with none on..not a clue if they work but they also do an hip support ..that might help for a while...
    Love
    Barbara
  • tedthered64tedthered64 Posts: 84
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    barbara12 wrote:
    Hello Ted
    I have had one hip replaces and my other is not far off, I use crutches sometimes one sometimes 2 depending on how my back feels,I have bought a set of flex*feet for the bottom they are a sort of shock absorber and it was to save my shoulder from getting painful..I sometimes think they are not working the same till I use a crutch with none on..not a clue if they work but they also do an hip support ..that might help for a while...

    Hi Barbara,Thank you for replying, I also suffer quite badly from pain in my lower back, I never thought about the additional strain using crutches may place upon it so thank you for mentioning it as I will have a think about that and the shock absorbers sound like a great idea, at the moment I will try any thing! Pain is ridiculous
  • SloshSlosh Posts: 3,194
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    I use two crutches due to severe weakness in my left leg, not my OA. These were reccomended last year by an Orthopaedic Registrar after my GP sent me to A and E due to concerns about my very slow walking even with a stick. The crutches were issued to me by a physio who assessed if I needed 1 or 2, set them to the correct height and took me through how to use them.
    He did not say you will not be storm tossed, you will not be sore distressed, you will not be work weary. He said you will not be overcome.
    Julian of Norwich
  • SloshSlosh Posts: 3,194
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    I've just re-read DD's post, it's interesting that how you are told to use the crutches obviously depends on why you have them as when using two (I use one around the house or if not going too far), the physio who issued mine and told me how to use them told me to use both together in the same way as when using one.
    He did not say you will not be storm tossed, you will not be sore distressed, you will not be work weary. He said you will not be overcome.
    Julian of Norwich
  • tedthered64tedthered64 Posts: 84
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi,
    Thank you all for taking the time to reply to my question, very much appreciated,
    Ted
  • dreamdaisydreamdaisy Posts: 31,567 ✭✭✭
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    I was told that crutches were there to offer stability and to aid balance, not to hold me up. This is one reason why I changed my rollator, I had the traditional square one which you have to walk behind (keep an eye open and see how many people are leaning right over them) to the newer L shape - this means I can walk in a far more upright position because I walk between the struts, thus making my leg muscles work as they should. I wish you well and I hope, if you acquire a set, that they help. DD
    Have you got the despatches? No, I always walk like this. Eddie Braben
  • tedthered64tedthered64 Posts: 84
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    dreamdaisy wrote:
    I was told that crutches were there to offer stability and to aid balance, not to hold me up. This is one reason why I changed my rollator, I had the traditional square one which you have to walk behind (keep an eye open and see how many people are leaning right over them) to the newer L shape - this means I can walk in a far more upright position because I walk between the struts, thus making my leg muscles work as they should. I wish you well and I hope, if you acquire a set, that they help. DD
    Thanks DD, I am trying to find the best weight to keep the weight off my left hip to hopefully keep the segmental collapse of the feudal head at bay! I will try anything so thank you for you're suggestion.
  • hileena111hileena111 Posts: 7,099
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi
    I use 2 crutches......I've had 2 hip replacements and the second one wasn't very successful....well it was four weeks post op and I was doing an NHS exercise and fractured the greater trochanter bone which will not heal so I was given crutches. I also have arthritis in lower back so have to be careful if I'm just using one on a short journey.....it usually hurts my back.
    I've got to say that I was given the crutches and shown how to use them....both together......I came home and pm'd DD and asked her advice :lol: I knew she used hers a different way so got lots of advice from her and always use them that way. Worse leg {L} out and right crutch at the same time then right leg and left crutch.
    I've got the flex+foot as well and it helps.

    Love
    Hileena
  • tedthered64tedthered64 Posts: 84
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    hileena111 wrote:
    Hi
    I use 2 crutches......I've had 2 hip replacements and the second one wasn't very successful....well it was four weeks post op and I was doing an NHS exercise and fractured the greater trochanter bone which will not heal so I was given crutches. I also have arthritis in lower back so have to be careful if I'm just using one on a short journey.....it usually hurts my back.
    I've got to say that I was given the crutches and shown how to use them....both together......I came home and pm'd DD and asked her advice :lol: I knew she used hers a different way so got lots of advice from her and always use them that way. Worse leg {L} out and right crutch at the same time then right leg and left crutch.
    I've got the flex+foot as well and it helps.

    Love
    Hileena
    Hi Hileena,
    Thank you I will bear that in mind x
  • dreamdaisydreamdaisy Posts: 31,567 ✭✭✭
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Bumped for 23455.
    Have you got the despatches? No, I always walk like this. Eddie Braben
  • bubbadogbubbadog Posts: 5,852
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    I used to use crutches in my house until I had 3 bad collapses now I use a rollator (in my house) to help with balance like DD. I do feel much safer with a rollator. But the choice is yours whether to go with crutches or something else.
  • tedthered64tedthered64 Posts: 84
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Thank you all for the information.
    Went to see my GP last night who says I would benefit more from a wheelchair!

    But thanks for all the input very much appreciated
    Ted x
  • dreamdaisydreamdaisy Posts: 31,567 ✭✭✭
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    I have one of those too, it's there for the very bad days or walks which are too long for the me and the rollator. It has been useful, especially when away on holiday. DD
    Have you got the despatches? No, I always walk like this. Eddie Braben
  • tedthered64tedthered64 Posts: 84
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    dreamdaisy wrote:
    I have one of those too, it's there for the very bad days or walks which are too long for the me and the rollator. It has been useful, especially when away on holiday. DD
    I think the hardest thing for me will be the fact that I actually need to use one!

    So much seems to be happening so quickly but hey ho always someone worse off than myself x upwards and onwards
  • dreamdaisydreamdaisy Posts: 31,567 ✭✭✭
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    My view has always been that the kit is there to help and to enable me to do more than I otherwise could. My late MA was always very keen for me to get a rollator or a chair or a scooter but refused to do the same for herself, despite being far more unsteady on her feet (she was 38 years older than me). 'Ive never needed that and I don't need it now.' was her refrain. While not thankful that I have to resort to these things I am thankful that my thinking is still plastic enough to accept the change.

    It is a big 'step' and a real challenge in how we view ourselves. It ain't easy but these things can make a very big difference to the quality of life and that is what truly counts. DD
    Have you got the despatches? No, I always walk like this. Eddie Braben
  • hileena111hileena111 Posts: 7,099
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    I agree with DD about that...I've got a rollater as well.....My mam was so pleased when I got one but would she get one....same as DD's MA. I think its that generation.
    I'm very grateful for my equipment......it did take a little bit of arguing with myself each time I got something different :lol:
    I was taught at Arthritis Care that they are coping mechanisms....helping you do things you couldn't otherwise do.
    She did say to some of us one time....how would you open a can? answer...with a tin opener.....Right so you use a tin opener...well that's a coping mechanism. If you need a stick or anything else its no different :lol:

    Love
    Hileena
  • tedthered64tedthered64 Posts: 84
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    dreamdaisy wrote:
    My view has always been that the kit is there to help and to enable me to do more than I otherwise could. My late MA was always very keen for me to get a rollator or a chair or a scooter but refused to do the same for herself, despite being far more unsteady on her feet (she was 38 years older than me). 'Ive never needed that and I don't need it now.' was her refrain. While not thankful that I have to resort to these things I am thankful that my thinking is still plastic enough to accept the change.

    It is a big 'step' and a real challenge in how we view ourselves. It ain't easy but these things can make a very big difference to the quality of life and that is what truly counts. DD
    Hi DD,
    That is so true and like you say if it's there to help why not use.
    I suppose it's all about what makes life easier and not what people think.
    Ted
  • dreamdaisydreamdaisy Posts: 31,567 ✭✭✭
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    I don't care what people think, I tickle myself with the malicious thought that one day my reality might be theirs. :wink: When out and about check how many are using aids of any kind, and spare a thought for those who are in chairs because they have no choice. I still have a choice, albeit of the Hobson's variety, and for that I am thankful. DD

    PS Hileena? I think that's a good point about the generational thing, my parents refused to apply for benefits despite the best efforts of Social Services. I remember my Ma saying that if she accepted any benefit she would lose her self-respect.
    Have you got the despatches? No, I always walk like this. Eddie Braben
  • tedthered64tedthered64 Posts: 84
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    dreamdaisy wrote:
    I don't care what people think, I tickle myself with the malicious thought that one day my reality might be theirs. :wink: When out and about check how many are using aids of any kind, and spare a thought for those who are in chairs because they have no choice. I still have a choice, albeit of the Hobson's variety, and for that I am thankful. DD

    PS Hileena? I think that's a good point about the generational thing, my parents refused to apply for benefits despite the best efforts of Social Services. I remember my Ma saying that if she accepted any benefit she would lose her self-respect.
    Thanks DD,
    Wise words indeed and so true
    Ted
  • emmaadamsemmaadams Posts: 140
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi DD i use my crutches the same way as you say to use them one at a time rather than both together, i did this by my own intuition as the other way was really hurting my shoulders .. i do have a question about wheelchairs .. where or who would i contact to acquire one ??
    it pains me to say this but i may need to use one on occasion i loved to walk especially in the countryside or go hiking which i can no longer do .. i want to go out with the OH and the boys but at the moment my legs are so bad i can barely walk let alone go out for the day i promised to take them to the local theme park and im damned if im canceling on them just because i cant go on anything or enjoy it the way i would normally shouldn't mean that i have to deny them the fun of enjoying themselves and enjoying the school holidays xx i will still be able to enjoy the boys having fun

    my OH has said to use one and i refused at first but he has made me see the light and said if there are things that i want to do and i cant support myself on the crutches then i am going to need one especially for taking the boys out on trips etc ....


    i am now of to go have a cup of T and come to terms with the fact that i can not do the things i want o do unaided any longer
  • hileena111hileena111 Posts: 7,099
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi
    Just a thought.....what about a mobility scooter....a lot of places hire them.
    I have a mobility scooter or hire one and I feel more independent.
    The red cross hire out wheelchairs.....well not exactly hire they ask for a donation

    Love
    Hileena
  • dreamdaisydreamdaisy Posts: 31,567 ✭✭✭
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi emma, apart from my first pair of crutches (which I returned to the NHS) I am in the fortunate position of being able to buy the things I need. The chair is not that comfortable because I am on the tall side but at least it's there if necessary. If you google hiring wheelchairs some answers should pop up.

    It isn't easy to accept that these things are required but it does make sense if it means we can do more, go further and generally join in with others' activities. I hope you find a solution. DD
    Have you got the despatches? No, I always walk like this. Eddie Braben
  • daffy2daffy2 Posts: 1,713
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi Emma - I'll put this in the right place this time I hope(put it on the wrong thread just now - perhaps my brain's trying to tell me something!)
    If you haven't already tried this it might be worth contacting the place you are planning to visit to ask what they can do to help. Where I work we have several wheelchairs and also, thanks to a charitable donation, an electric all-terrain buggy, available to borrow. We don't charge but I gather that's unusual, however even if there's a hire charge, it would be worth it to make life easier for you?
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