How to Use Crutches Correctly – Ask Doctor Jo
How to Use Crutches Correctly – Ask Doctor Jo


Hey everybody, it’s Doctor Jo, and today I’m
gonna show you how to use some crutches. I had hip surgery recently, so I’ve had the
pleasure of hobbling around on crutches for several weeks now. And sometimes they’re a
little harder than you think they are. But let me start off with showing you how to get
the right height for you. When you first get your crutches, the buttons here, which you
can’t see cause they’ve got some cool Gamecocks over them, actually have heights. So it starts
off, you know, 5’3″, 5’4″, 5’5″, 5’6″ and it’s pretty accurate. But what you really
want to do, the important part is these should not actually be in your armpit. I think people
get confused with that a little bit. Now sometimes you can lean on them if you’re talking to
somebody, but while you’re actually walking with the crutches, you don’t want them pressing
there because you have an axillary nerve that can actually get compressed if you put a lot
of pressure on it for a long period of them, and then you’re gonna have arm issues after
that. So you want to be able to get about 2 fingers in between the top of the crutch
and your armpit. So when you’re standing, if you can do that, that’s about where you
want it. You want to have just a slight bend in your elbows as well cause you can move
the handles, but it doesn’t have to be a big bend, just a slight bend because when your
walking with the crutches, you don’t want them super close, you want them out to the
side just a little bit cause that’s gonna give you some more stability while you’re
walking. So once you have all of that in place, you get to the walking part, and there’s different
types of weight bearing for people when their doing crutches. You’re non-weight bearing.
You can be toe-touch weight bearing which is about 20% of your body weight. You can
be partial weight bearing, and then weight bearing as tolerated where it’s just kind
of help give you a little bit of balance. So the first one I’m gonna show you is non-weight
bearing. And then we’ll kind of progress from there. The first one is non-weigh bearing.
So if you’re not allowed to put any weight on your leg, if you’re kind of holding it
up in the air, the crutches are gonna take the place of your right leg. So if my right
leg was gonna go forward, that’s when my crutches go forward. So you just bring them forward,
and kind of hop through. You want to make sure you’re not going far because you’re gonna
lose your balance. So just almost like a normal step when you go through. And you can also
see my crutches are a little bit wider than my body because that gives you more stability.
So you don’t want them close, you want them our just a little bit again to give you that
support and balance. The next one would be a toe-touch weight bearing which, depending
on your surgery, is either really just your toes are touching down, or your foot is actually
flat on the ground, but toe-touch is about 20% of your body weight. So some people will
tell you imagine that there’s egg shells underneath your foot, and you don’t want to crush them.
So you’re really just placing your foot down, but again the crutches are taking on all the
weight. So the crutches are gonna follow that foot the whole time and take the place of
actually putting the weight on that leg. So when my right leg goes forward, the crutches
go forward. And I’m really just placing that foot down. I’m not really putting any weight
on it. But I’m just placing it gently on the ground. Again, not taking a big step, just
trying to take a normal step while you’re walking. After you progress a little bit and
you don’t need to do the toe touch anymore, and you’re partial weight bearing, or maybe
weight bearing as tolerated, but you still need a little bit of assistance, then you
can go down to one crutch. When you go down to the one crutch, you want to put it on the
opposite side, so it’s gonna follow the right side wherever it goes. So kind of like a cane,
it’s there to give you that support. So as my right goes forward, the crutch goes forward,
and I’m just stepping through. Not leaning over onto the crutch, you’re not leaning and
just walking like this, you’re still trying to be pretty upright, and that crutch is just
giving you a little bit of support. Getting closer to being able to walk without it. So
there you have it. That’s how to walk with come crutches. If you have any questions,
leave them in the comments section. If you’d like to check out some other videos, go to
AskDoctorJo.com If you like the video, click the like button. And remember, be safe, have
fun, and I hope you feel better soon.

100 thoughts on “How to Use Crutches Correctly – Ask Doctor Jo”

  1. oblongbirb says:

    I actually broke a part of my ankle and I feel like I've been using my crutches totally wrong since I got them (my first time). It still kinda hurts when I use my crutches the way you mentioned the first time. By it hurting, I mean that my arms are pretty sore but are still able to use the crutches. Is there anything specific that needs to be said that I've been doing wrong?

  2. Quarters Dreamer says:

    From far distance on crutches; how do you keep from getting too much of the pressure on the other leg, ankle, and foot??

  3. Da Fantastic Friends Productions says:

    Oops thats why my arm pit hurts

  4. Godwin Tanaruno says:

    Thank you its now kinda easier to walk ever since I broke my leg

  5. Tøkyo says:

    I broke and fractured my foot yesterday this video helped me a lot thanks

  6. Elizabeth Carnley says:

    Awesome video! I've NEVER had to use crutches but I recently sprained a ligament in my shin & I gotta keep weight off of it. I had to idea how to use crutches but this video was very informative. Thanks so much!!

  7. Leila DiFrancesco says:

    My arms got bruised with my crutches in 1 day! I was using them so wrong

  8. KaiGamerFTW says:

    Finally no more suffering. I just broke my leg and all my friends at school said I was using them wrong. Thanks your a life saver no more suffering for me

  9. Dina Karan says:

    I have a doubt, my right foot (distrateral femur) fractured. which side hold crutches in weight bearing time .. kindly answer me.

  10. Monricko Lyles says:

    i have crutches and thanks for the arm pit part it was really helpful:)

  11. Alyssa Sowell says:

    Lol I wish I could just say I broke a leg but no I did something really freaking stupid. I stepped right onto a dog comb and the prongs went straight into my foot…

  12. Sharon Ewing says:

    I love how u make the right things because I broke a leg and i did not now how to use crutches and this is a very good video

  13. Ccs1989 says:

    I was not prepared for how much of a workout using crutches is. Looks easy in a video, is so difficult on the body.

  14. varun kumar says:

    Hi will u pls suggest me how to use crutches. I am suffering from a neurological disorder from past several years, i can stand with the help of walker .i want to use crutches without knee braces….help me pls

  15. Juan Gonzalez says:

    Thanks for the tutorial

  16. hollies clubhouse says:

    i had to immobilize for 10 weeks after hurting my foot and heel. My dr. said it was likely tears in my plantar fascia. Now i can stand and try walking. I've been doing physical therapy for 2 weeks. I can feel a lot of improvement, but how long is it going to take to get back to normal? How long until i can just walk around normally? I can gently walk around my house, but it gets sore around the calf and ankle quickly. Resting my foot gave me calf and ankle atrophy. Should i still do my stretches/strengthening if i feel sore?

  17. erina ahmad says:

    awww thank you so much !! this video help me a lot. I'm going to have my practical test tomorrow . I'm quite nervous.

  18. Life. Weirdo. says:

    This is super helpful, I broke my ankle and I was using canes. Did not work with the canes, but when I got the crutches I didn’t know how to use them, this is the most popular and helpful video, Ever.

  19. MTEDITZ7 says:

    my hand is hurting when i press down to walk and push myself up, what did i do wrong

  20. TL2354 says:

    Awesome! I’m having surgery on my left hip this week so I know what I have to do

  21. Nicholstop : says:

    I messed my hip up trying to kick a ball something popped really loud so I’ll be interested what the mri says. They tried to give me an old man walker and I thought it’d look pretty weird to be walking around my highschool with a walker so I went to Walmart and got some crutches hopefully this works

  22. Emily Cupcake says:

    I fell on the steps while home alone. I'm pretty sure I twisted it, and it really hurts. Sometimes my mom won't believe me. Anyways, do I need crutches for this? Please answer ASAP, it'll really help.

  23. Cezzy Bloger says:

    Lol this is so usefule! Subbing right now

  24. E says:

    I stumbled upon this, and watched this for the heck of it, despite not needing crutches. However, the very next day, I broke my ankle and I now need crutches, so I think this is a very good example of real-life foreshadowing 👌

  25. Peggy Bunn says:

    I have a torn meniscus and have been waiting for treatment at sports medicine. In the mean time, I'm using crutches because I cannot bear weight on my toes and cannot walk without tons of burning. Anyway, I used the this morning and my leg was shaking so bad the entire time. I was about to throw them in the dumpster. Lol ill try the adjustments and see if it helps. I know the shaking won't stop because I have no strength in it.

  26. Lolli Pop says:

    Thanks I just got my crutches yesterday night and I was wondering why my arms were hurting

  27. elizabeth n says:

    I have a grade 3 ankle sprain and I’m on crutches now

  28. HydnBB2 says:

    Thank you so much for the tutorial! My husband got me a pair of crutches because I got a really bad sprain in the ankle and he adjusted the length ALL TOTALLY WRONG! My armpits were hurting! Now I know why…!😁

  29. Eric Mark says:

    How to take off my clothes in the bathroom while using the crutches?

  30. VixiMixi says:

    thanks, I have crutches because of an OCD lesion in my knee and need to be on them for 3 months or more!

  31. Yuri Jeong says:

    I got broken foot 5 weeks ago from now….why am I watching this video only now….dang it. The hospital TOTALLY taught me NOTHING !!! OMG ! You seems to me like an angel on youtube oh my god.. So, so far, when I climb the stairs of my apartment 4th floor, I just hopped, like, 'real hop' like a frog. hahahahaha Ah…

  32. Erica Wagner says:

    I need help with the two one I was running in my house then I fell it hurt so bad I had to use crutches

  33. Ranger Citrus says:

    Thank you so much! I am 11 and i fractured my tibia and just got crutches and a cast. I hope i can go back to camp now!

  34. Madeline White says:

    Hello. I had a tibial tubercle osteotomy 4 weeks ago and I just found out through your video that I’ve been walking the wrong way. I have a 0 degree locking brace that I have to keep on for 6 weeks and I’m suppose to be non weight bearing for those weeks. Apparently I’ve been doing the toe touch method which could explain the amount of pain I’m in. Could I have possibly hindered my healing by walking the wrong way? I’m due to start therapy in the next week (as of now I can’t move my leg at all when I’m in a sit/laid down position and I haven’t bent my knee in these 4 weeks. As per my doctor my leg muscles are weak but my thigh muscles still have strength).

  35. cool purp45 says:

    i break the side of my foot to work.. slightly broke the bone at the tip. i was told that i needed a cast but because i had no money could not afford a crutch. i was given 3 weeks off. for 2 weeks i was walking on my foot and the third week someone got me a crutch. did i damage my foot

  36. E&S Wow says:

    Thanks so much for this video! I broke a bone in my ankle today while pushing my daughter in her stroller have been struggling since I got home from the hospital.

  37. Jishnu John says:

    in Hemiplegia cases auxiliary crutch is it helpful?

  38. Dinesh Sharma says:

    Thanks for this video but Can you explain about how a client with crutches to sit and stand?? Like supine to standing position and standing to sitting position with Affected side and non affected side involving….

  39. Poser disposer says:

    Thank you so so much! I got my crutches today and I’ve been using them wrong. My armpits are hurting because my arms were rested on the pads the entire time I was using them. I adjusted them and they are much more comfortable now. Thank you again!!:)

  40. Abby D says:

    I know I'm late, but how do you adjust the handles? Mine are way too long. I fractured my ankle the other day and it is no-weight-bearing injury.

  41. A. D. says:

    Thank you kindly.

  42. StikerMunster says:

    Just shattered my ankle in four places at work yesterday and this video is seriously a life saver. First time I've broken something and I had to go all out! Lol. Thank you so much for this video. It's really helpful.

  43. Richard Smiley says:

    Thank you

  44. bull moose says:

    Bunion surgery. Scary.

  45. Sofia Alcalá says:

    What would you recommend for a sprained ankle? Should i put my foot lightly on the ground or just avoid putting any pressure on it?

  46. The bloomer Channel says:

    I fractured my ankle

  47. Meag says:

    My crutches are too big so there is no space between the crutches and armpit

  48. libby oatway says:

    thanks so much, im 11 years and ld and broke my foot. im in so much pain and just got crutches. im so scared to fall and hurt my foot again 🙁

  49. Anna Lappas says:

    I just got a foot injury today in gymnastics sadly and I got crutches. They showed me how to use them but I was still a little confused so this helped me a lot.

  50. TheHonestjbone says:

    post acl surgery, this video helped me thank you

  51. Nikita garg says:

    Nice video mam.
    Mam please upload your video on how to move with one crutches.

  52. A Person says:

    I hate Crutches

  53. A Person says:

    I have them Right now

  54. Annie Derbabian says:

    Having surgery on my other knee and this time I will get the crutches down pat. Last time I struggled! Thanks!!!!

  55. Yvonne Evans says:

    Thank you for the informative video. Can you address how to use one crutch if you have an injury to your shoulder on the opposite side of your sprained ankle (Splinted in emergency room)? I need to use one crutch but painful when placed under the injured shoulder. Do I step with the bad foot or not. TIA

  56. Kübra Eğlence says:

    I used my crutches wrong for 1 week

  57. Fallin IntoTheSky says:

    I just got them today and I almost fell. Definitely not as easy as it looks

  58. Allison Trombley says:

    I just got my cruches today and they r kinda hard to use hahaha school is gonna stop

  59. Completly8Crazy8Girl says:

    i just discovered your channel and you are so nice and cool. real pleasure to watch

  60. Ethan Mojo says:

    Yeah idk how I stumbled upon this but I’ve never broken or sprained a bone so far in my life (knock on wood I don’t ever) and I don’t know how I found this

  61. K Lamm says:

    Thanks, recently broke my toe and I’m struggling with crutches. This helped greatly. Turned out we had the wrong height adjustment as well.

  62. Mario Rodriguez says:

    I got them today is hard

  63. Jacob Rowe says:

    Thank you so much I just got crutches after dislocating my knee and this helps a lot.

  64. Florty_ Cory says:

    Oh god, I've been placing my armpit directly where you said not to place them on. My arm is killiinnggg meeee. But hopefully tomorrow going to school will be better by following this tip

  65. Autumn Jarvis says:

    I just got crutches a week ago

  66. Maya Kirigin says:

    Thank you! I broke my ankle and I am using a scooter but will need Churches too

  67. Silver Gacha says:

    I sprained my ankle pretty bad..my dad wrapped it up..
    At school.. (SO FRICKEN PAINFUL!!!)
    I told my mom and she said I might have to go to the
    Doctors to see if i have to get crutches so..
    Uh..here I am..

  68. EnergeticWaves says:

    great ideas. thank you

  69. Draco malformed Jennifer unicorns says:

    I got them today

  70. JonnyIsDaBoss says:

    I got crutches today and I have a brace on my right leg because I dislocated my knee and when I use the crutches it hurts my left foot after using them for like 30seconds-1min

  71. Akari says:

    I broke my toe. Do I need crutches?

  72. dalekorpi says:

    Well done, how long for crutches on anterior hip replacement? Well done Dr. Jo

  73. ellielucy747 says:

    i just sprained my ankle and i need crutches and i keep getting them stuck on the ground and almost face planting 😂

  74. Just A Star says:

    This is actually REALY hard,I broke my ankle on my tree house ladder and I need crutches now.😢

  75. some dude says:

    I broke my ankle ya ester day playing basket ball and I can’t put any weight in it I have crutches but I keep slipping. 😔

  76. Leticia Coronel says:

    Just got crutches yesterday i woke up this morning and my armpit hurts. "I cant wait for school" 😓.

  77. SkyPickel says:

    My armpits always hurt, even though there is space between them and the crutch. Any tips?

  78. Simon Goldman says:

    How do I carry items in my hand(s) while using crutches?

  79. leonie johnson says:

    thx dr jo xx love u

  80. Drawing_Ros è says:

    THANK YO U SO MUCH DR.JO!!! I sprained the whole side of my foot and pulled a muscle in my foot and it really hurts to use them!!

  81. May C says:

    i recently injured my right knee and have to use Crutches . but because i had sprained my left ankle before quite badly(sometimes it hurts even after a few years if i walk too much) , I'm really afraid to strain my left leg as well. what should i do?

  82. Random Person says:

    I got crutches today because I sprained my ankle bad

  83. urbanfireblade says:

    Good video Jo. It's my 1st day on crutches with a fractured fibula, it's really helpful to see how to use them and with your added advice. Many thanks!

  84. RebornsxAvax says:

    I got crutches today… they hurt like heck on my armpits and they are chaving on my high upper back. I need tips!!!! 😭💔

  85. triple 0verkillZ says:

    Bro I just naturally did the 20 percent weight bearing thing and everyone at school was like your doing it wrong even though my doctor told me to do that.

  86. Nusi says:

    Its been 4 days of walking with crutches and I think I put too much pressure on my axillary nerve and now my right arm is hurting. 😅

  87. Yousif says:

    this helps out a bit, i most likely tore my acl and mcl

  88. Leo Lover says:

    Okay I have a Salter-Hilton type 2 fracture/break in my lower end of my tibia. I just broke it on Thursday. For some reason my arms are superrrr sore from using my crutches. Idk why my arms are super sore when I have only had crutches for like 2 full days. Can someone please tell me why?

  89. Leelee Tan says:

    This is going to be useful for me for my knee surgery next month. I have watched your video from 2013 when I had been trying to learn knee strengthening exercises for dislocated knee (chondromalacia and patella tilt) and and now I'm here again before my MPFL.

  90. Daisy Flowers says:

    Thank you cause I kept falling and my leg kept getting worse thanks for the information

  91. Carol Morris says:

    I had a Schatzker VI Tibia plateau fracture (worst knee fracture). I have been in a wheel chair with a full leg extender for my totally braced injured leg. I used crutches before but like all the demonstrations they were with the knee bent slightly back. I have been having physio but there is no way I can balance on crutches with my injured leg extended in front of me. Anybody have any tips. I know crutches will be my next hurdle, with zero weight bearing.

  92. Bad Bitch says:

    I use forearm crutches

  93. Eleanor Proudfoot says:

    I have a broken bone in my top part of my foot Iv got a moon boot and crutches I can't walk with the crutches as I can't balance on one leg is it ok to walk on your heal

  94. Tasha Smith says:

    I sprained my ankle but I'm not in crutches

  95. Ella Peters says:

    Hello. In the non- weight bearing gait, was that a 2 point gait or 3 point gait?

  96. Abby Kalinowski says:

    I sprained my ankle yesterday, and just found out that ive been using crutches wrong!

  97. Big Daddy says:

    No, I have been bedridden for around 5 months. When I try to stand I end up falling. I have crutches so can I use them to help me out

  98. Grace HILTON says:

    Hey I know I’m 2 yrs late but I need help. I’ve only had crutches for a day because I hurt my knee. It really hurts my upper rip and arm. I’ve got so many bruises already and I don’t know I could be able to use them. Do u know how to stop this

  99. Gamer Whiz says:

    Thank you, this is invaluable.

  100. Carrie-ann Smith says:

    I got cruches 1 minute ago because i was in the street on my eletric scooter and i fell and broke my whole leg it isnt as easy as you make it but still thanks for the vid .

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