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Assistive Devices for Ambulation Cheat Sheet by


Verify correct fit of crutches: approx­imately 3 finger widths between the axilla and top of the crutch
Position crutches on the unaffected side when sitting or rising from a chair
Position hands on hand grips w/ elbows flexed at 30 degrees
Do NOT bear weight on axilla


Beginning in the tripod position, maintain weight on the "­una­ffe­cte­d" (weigh­t-b­earing) extremity
Advance both crutches and the affected extremity
Move the unaffected weight bearing foot/leg forward (beyond the crutches)
Advance both crutches, and then the affected extremity


Move crutches forward about one step's length
Move affected leg forward, level w/ the crutch tips
Move the unaffected leg forward


Hold onto rail w/ one hand, and crutches w/ the other hand
Push down on the stair rail and the crutches, and step up w/ the unaffected leg
If not allowed to place weight on the affected leg, hop up w/ the unaffected leg
Bring the affected leg and the crutches up beside the unaffected leg
Remember that the unaffected leg goes up first and the crutches move with the affected leg


Place the affected leg and the crutches down on the step below
Support weight by leaning on the crutches and the stair rail
Bring the unaffected leg down
Remember that the affected leg goes down first and the crutches move with the affected leg


Cane is used on the unaffected side
Move the cane forward 6 to 10 inches
Then, move the weaker leg forward
Finally, advance the stronger leg past the cane
For correct size, have pt wear shoes.
The length is measured from the greater trochanter to the floor.
Another method of cane walking includes having the pt move the affected extremity and cane at the same time.


For correct size, have the pt wear shoes
The pt's wrists are even w/ the hand flips on the walker when arms are dangling downward
Advance the walker approx­imately 12 inches
Advance w/ the affected lower limb
Move unaffected limb forward
Identify approp­ria­teness of a rolling walker if a walker is being used for support due to overall weakness.
A rolling walker isn't approp­riate for a pt who has Parkin­son's disease due to shuffling gait.


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