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HealthInfo Canterbury

Using crutches

Te whakamahi i ngā rākau hauā

Make sure your crutches are the right height – your elbows should be slightly bent when the crutches are by your side.

When walking, put your crutches forward first, then your injured leg and then your uninjured leg.


When going upstairs, put your uninjured leg on the step and then follow with the crutches and your injured leg.

When coming downstairs, put your crutches and your injured leg down on the step first, then follow with your uninjured leg.


Before sitting down

Feel for the back of your chair on the backs of your legs.

Take the crutches out from under your arms, using the hand pieces of the crutches to steady yourself with one hand.

Reach back to the chair with your other hand.

Place your injured leg forward to prevent putting weight on it.

To stand up

Place both crutches in one hand slightly forward of yourself.

Push down on the chair with your other hand.

Once you're standing, place both your hands in the crutches.

Returning crutches

Return the crutches to where you got them from when you no longer need them. If you paid a bond, this will be refunded.

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Written by Orthopaedic Outpatients Department and Physiotherapy Department, Christchurch Hospital. Adapted by HealthInfo clinical advisers. Last reviewed February 2022.


Page reference: 33126

Review key: HILWI-174362