Scooters or Knee Crutches?
No one likes pain. And when I was recently injured this past September, I found that torn muscles and a torn meniscus really hurt. Because I haven't been able to get around very well, I just started looking for the best foot, leg, or knee support devices for small living areas. We have a smaller home that makes negotiating from one room to another painful and tedious. A cane is just not doing it for me as I found I'm not allowing my knee to rest enough to achieve any effective healing. Aha! I thought. A scooter would be perfect!
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Well….I certainly found plenty of scooters. In fact, there was such a dizzying array of choices in both price and make, that it made me confused. I am currently wearing knee braces as well as wraps, and I use a cane. In the middle of the night I even have to use a walker to get a glass of water. Given the fact that I may have a 6 month or longer time frame to heal, I figured it would be best for me to look for the most efficient way to get around the house.
Many people in my position are either alone a lot, or have plenty of family nearby willing to help but are too independent to ask for it. Enter the home scooter. My ideal 'run-about' would have a cushioned seat for my injured knee. It would have a basket so that I could carry things from one room to another if needed. I want it to be easy to wheel around corners, I would require it to be easy for me to manipulate with only one leg.
The knee crutch, though small, gives a person an even greater hands-free mobility.
What's a Knee Crutch?
There were also knee crutches available and I had honestly never heard of them. After watching a video, I was amazed at how well they worked and how easily people adapted to using them. It showed how, despite the injury, people can continue to keep their hands free. They can continue to make meals, get the laundry done and even vacuum their home. Knee crutches are a new kind of crutch that straps at the knee and thigh, letting the leg rest on a padded cushion the length of the leg. It then allows you to walk about while doing your normal daily routine. Keeping the injured foot or ankle elevated instead of putting pressure on the injury allows time to heal.
The company gives ample information and requests that you read it before purchasing. This helps to determine if this device is for you. In detail, they point out that overweight people and amputees, for instance, will more than likely find the crutch unsuitable for them. In fact, they may find that they are not able to adjust to the knee crutch due to balance issues and/or pain. People with poor circulation, back problems and even those taking certain medication will likewise find this device unsuitable. Before even reading through their entire documentation, I reluctantly realized this would not work for me. Though it's absolutely perfect because of it's size and it would give me the ability to keep my hands free, my knee injury limits the amount of pressure I can put on it. The fact that bending the knee is almost impossible because of the damage and inflammation to it also means this is not an option for me personally. But if something like this can work for you, please consider looking in to it. The company gives as much info as possible to help you make an informed decision. If you are unsure, contact them directly at (877) 832-6031.
After deciding that the walking crutch wouldn't work, I assumed the only possibility for me was the steerable scooter. It has a small basket so that I can carry things from one room to another if needed. Best of all, because of our limited space, this can be folded up and put away. The price ranges were quite wide but I don't like to put out any more money than I have to. If possible, that is. I thought this company offered a reasonable comparison to others in cost.
Because the height of the knee pad and the handlebars can be adjusted higher or lower, I can find the most comfortable position for my height. It appears that the knee pad can be adjusted to a tilt (and I'm going to check on this personally for myself) and angle it to my comfort. I would not need to bend my knee at a such a severe and painful angle, but instead a slight bend will allow me to rest my swollen knee with ease and less pain.
The body of the bike, though fairly light, still requires a bit of upper body strength to move it about. If it was any lighter, though, it would be of no use. But it is still al consideration to take under advisement. Other consumers have mentioned that getting the knee pad really helps with the comfort. If you are feeling extra frugal, though, you can always use a folded up small pillow. However, I would imagine it would not be so easy to secure while resting on the pad AND using the bike to get around.
Although the basket isn't large, I would still be able to get a few things here and there. And in a pinch, I can easily hang a plastic bag on the handle bars!
I know there are a slew of variables for each individual, but hopefully the process I went through to make my decision will help you to make yours. I found that no one piece of equipment met my requirements 100%, but at least I found one that would be sufficient, affordable and get the job done. I hope you do too.
Now….get better soon 🙂