Using Crutches Safely


If you’ve sustained a recent foot or ankle injury, or if you are recovering from foot and ankle surgery, you may find yourself needing to rely on crutches to get around comfortably. Crutches are generally made out of wood or aluminum. They are an effective tool when you cannot bear your full weight independently. Your podiatrist will provide you with the best pair for your size and will offer instruction on using them. Here are some tips from Boris Abramov, DPM and Tatyana Abramova, DPM to help you through what can be a challenging time:


Even after you’ve been fitted for crutches, make sure your crutch pads and handgrips are always comfortable:

  • The tops of your crutches should be one to two inches below your armpits when your shoulders are relaxed. 

  • When you’re not walking, your handgrip placement should require you to keep your elbow is slightly bent so that you can fully extend it with each step.

  • The total crutch height should equal the distance from your armpit to about 6" in front of your foot.

Walking with Crutches

  • Begin standing in the “tripod position” with the crutch tips about 4" to 6" to the side and in front of each foot. Stand on the foot that is able to bear weight.

  • Move both crutches forward, then the affected foot or leg.

  • When steady, move the injured or affected leg forward.

  • Repeat slowly and patiently as you progress toward your destination.

  • Try to avoid using stairs with crutches unless you have a friend or family member available to spot you. Take the elevator instead. 

  • Prevent falls by keeping your crutches close to the sides of your body.

If you have sustained a recent injury, or if you have any concerns about the health and well-being of your feet, ankles, or lower legs, a visit to your podiatrist is in order. With years of specialized training and experience, your foot doctor is the best-qualified medical professional to help you. Make a convenient appointment to see Dr. Boris Abramov and Dr. Tatyana Abramova in Abramov’s Comprehensive Foot Care’s comfortable Pikesville office today. Call our friendly staff at 443-872-7052 or click here to get started.