- Posted on: Dec 28 2020
Knee scootersor knee walkers have become more popular in recent years. They are typically used for patients who have non weight bearing orders on their involved lower extremity following surgery. Non weight bearing status means that a patient may not place any weight on their involved leg, such as when standing, walking, or going up and down stairs.
When used correctly, a knee scooter can help a patient get from point A to point B safely while still protecting their healing foot or ankle. It actually requires less strength and endurance than typical crutches. However, it is important to note that there is a learning curve with these assistive devices, as wide turns are required given the positioning of the wheels. These devices also tip easily, resulting in increased fall risk. It’s important to make sure a patient takes their time when using these devices and has adequate practice as well before using it out in the community. One can decrease fall risk by making sure areas like the living room or hallways in the home isn’t cluttered with objects on the floor. Another limitation is the inability to use a knee scooter when navigating stairs. It is highly advised that a patient refrain from using this device while ascending or descending stairs. In this case, using crutches may be the better option. Whenever possible, a patient may benefit from staying on the first floor of their home until their weight bearing status is progressed.
It’s also important to keep in mind that a patient should not use these devices for a prolonged period of time due to the risk of blood clots in their involved lower extremity. One report in “Podiatry Today” suggested that a patient experienced a blood clot or DVT (deep vein thrombosis) because he/she used the knee scooter for 8 hours straight. A patient should only use the device to get from point A to point B. It’s also important to elevate the leg and straighten the knee in order to decrease swelling.
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