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Any tips for using crutches with ME?

Discussion in 'Lifestyle Management' started by Jenny, Apr 17, 2011.

  1. Jenny

    Jenny Senior Member

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    A couple of days ago I fell down some steps (partly because I'm unsteady on my feet and partly because I thought I was at the bottom and wasn't!), and broke a metatarsal bone and tore some ligaments in my foot.

    So my right foot is in plaster and I'm on crutches.

    I'm finding these really difficult. I'm unsteady anyway and the effort of using them wears me out after a few steps.

    Has anyone got any tips for using crutches so that the least possible energy is expended? (They are 'elbow' crutches.)

    Jenny
     
  2. LaurelW

    LaurelW Senior Member

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    I broke my toe last year and tried using crutches for a while. It was way too exhausting--I had to get a wheelchair.
     
  3. Boule de feu

    Boule de feu Senior Member

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    Crutches are bad when you are healthy... So, imagine what it is like when you have ME.
    I agree with Laurel.
     
  4. pamb

    pamb Senior Member

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    My husband had the same problem last year with an ankle injury. The 'hop' routine with crutches was not only very difficult to coordinate but exhausting. I hope you can use a chair instead.And best wishes in helping the Docs understand the problem.
     
  5. insearchof

    insearchof Senior Member

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    Hi Jenny

    That's terrible news. it's all too easy to do, I know. Crutches are surely out of the question....as someone else said, they are hard work when your fit and healthy. Any chance of your being able to hire a wheel chair?

    If not, perhaps a soft material or wadding can be applied on the tops of them, to make them more comfortable under your arms....causing less muscle fatigue..... might be worth considering. Aside from that, I am uncertain what might help you further.
     
  6. PNR2008

    PNR2008 Senior Member

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    I broke my ankle last october, crutches are dangerous and even a walker is exhausting. Used a wheelchair but check out a knee walker. If it works with your injury you can zip around with less effort. Get new or used on ebay.
     
  7. SOC

    SOC Senior Member

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    I fell down the stairs a couple of years ago and broke my 5th metatarsal (?). The orthopedic surgeon gave me a walking boot like the high walking boot shown here:
    http://www.orthoticsandbeyond.com/c-11-walking-braces-afos.aspx?gclid=CKbb0fWWpqgCFQQbKgodIRyeIA

    There was no way I could have managed crutches -- far too exhausting -- but I could get around fine in the walking boot. Not that I walk a lot, but I get around the house and the walking boot worked just fine for that. It was surprising how well it worked. There was no pain from putting weight on my foot and no problem with healing the bone.

    Good luck.
     
  8. Jenny

    Jenny Senior Member

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    Thanks very much for all the replies.

    PNF - the knee walker looks interesting - might try that if I have to be in plaster a long time.

    Sickof - Your info about the walking boot gives me hope - someone did mention that when I went to A & E, perhaps they'll give me one when I go to the clinic in a few days.

    Jenny
     
  9. ixchelkali

    ixchelkali Senior Member

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    I second the knee walker suggestion for around the house. Easier to manuver than a wheelchair, but it still provides help with balance. For outside the house, I'd go with a wheelchair or scooter. Being a Yank, I don't know what the NHS will spring for, but maybe you can rent? Walkers are usually easy to find second hand, but knee walkers aren't so common.

    I'm sorry about your accident; with ME, you have enough to contend with without that.
     
  10. LaurelW

    LaurelW Senior Member

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    Jenny, a boot works too--the reason I didn't use one is because I'm in and out of bed all day, they have a mile of velcro on them, and I didn't relish the idea of wearing an outdoor shoe to bed. But if you just lay on the couch or whatever, it might be fine.
     
  11. caledonia

    caledonia

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    When my dad was in the nursing home, I tried using his wheelchair just for fun. I could feel the energy sucking out of me with just a few pushes. And that was on a smooth tile floor. It would probably have to be a boot for me.
     
  12. Jenny

    Jenny Senior Member

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    Thanks all - I'm getting a bit better with the crutches - they seem to be helping develop a bit of upper body strength too.

    Jenny
     

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