Last updated: August 10, 2021

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Welcome to our big crutch test. Here we present all the crutches we have tested in detail. We have compiled detailed background information and added a summary of customer reviews on the web.

We would like to make your purchase decision easier and help you find the best crutches for you.

If available, we also offer interesting test videos. Furthermore, you will also find some important information on this page that you should definitely pay attention to if you want to buy crutches.




Summary

  • Crutches serve as a good aid in movement and are designed to compensate for certain deficits or to alleviate pain of the affected person and also to accelerate healing.
  • Generally, crutches are prescribed after injuries, accidents or operations in the lower body. In most cases, the health insurance also covers the costs.
  • Crutches come in different sizes and types. As a rule, it is up to you and your individual needs to decide which crutches are right for you. But you should pay attention to comfort, height adjustability and design or material.

The Best Forearm Crutches: Our Choices

Guide: Questions you should ask yourself before buying crutches

What are crutches and what are they used for?

Crutches are also known as crutches in everyday language. They are used as a walking aid on which the forearm can rest. Crutches consist of a support tube that is equipped with a handle.

Crutches enable you to get movement back into your life. They prevent your muscles or joints from being put under too much strain and thus make life easier in a difficult situation. (Image source: unsplash.com / Alev Takil)

They serve as an aid, especially in movement, to compensate for certain deficits. For example, affected legs can be relieved. This reduces the pain of the affected person and the healing process is accelerated.

With crutches, you can overcome obstacles such as stairs - they enable you to live a relatively independent life.

For which diagnoses are crutches used?

Basically, crutches are always used after certain injuries or accidents, e.g. broken bones. Crutches are also always prescribed after operations.

Furthermore, crutches are needed:

  • with a congenital or acquired handicap
  • with an incomplete cross-section
  • multiple sclerosis
  • arthrosis

What are the dimensions of crutches?

Basically, crutches are available in all different sizes and dimensions. Basic models usually have a load capacity of up to 130 - 140 kg. Crutches are also divided into weight classes.

Here you can see an example of a crutch with an anatomical soft grip:

Forearm crutch Dimensions
Dimension arm clamp to handle 23cm
Dimension handle to floor after 76 to 96 cm
Diameter middle section tube/ lower section tube Ø 20.0 x 1.4 mm/Ø 16.9 x 1.4 mm
Weight approx. 600 g/each
Maximum tested load capacity 140 kg/each

What costs are covered by health insurance?

The provision of an assistive device is regulated in the Fifth Social Code (SGB V) in §33 Para. 1.

According to this, insured persons are entitled to certain aids that are "necessary in individual cases to ensure the success of medical treatment, to prevent a threatening disability or to compensate for a disability, insofar as the aids are not to be regarded as general objects of daily use or are excluded according to §34 para. 4"

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What do crutches cost?

The cost of crutches always depends on the manufacturer, the model and the functions and features. On average, you can expect to pay between EUR 15.00 and EUR 65.00 per pair.

What are the alternatives to crutches?

Within a flat, house or compound, office chairs can of course be used as an alternative. Care must be taken to ensure that there are few thresholds or steps so that paths can be negotiated safely.

A second alternative is a rollator that you can sit on. These can also be prescribed by a doctor. A rollator has larger wheels than an office chair and is designed for the task.

Office chair Rollators
Easy alternative You can sit on it
Fast locomotion Can be prescribed by a doctor

Decision: What types of crutches are there and which is the right one for you?

Basically, there are many different types of crutches. We have listed the most important types here:

  • simple basic shape with ergonomic or anatomic handle
  • physiological walking aid (S-shaped bent at the handle)
  • Armpit crutches, also called underarm crutches (also protect hands and arms)
  • Arthritis crutches

What are the characteristics of crutches with ergonomic or anatomic grips and what are their advantages and disadvantages?

Crutches with an ergonomic or anatomic handle allow the patient to move around despite an injury or after an operation. They are equipped with an ergonomic or anatomical handle and thus provide comfort.

Forearm crutches prevent muscles from being under-stressed. Thanks to forearm crutches, the patient is prevented from pain and healing is accelerated.

Advantages
  • Gait pattern remains largely normal
  • Promotes mobility
  • Comfortable
Disadvantages
  • Can lead to back pain
  • No free hand to carry objects when moving

What are the characteristics of physiological walking aids and what are their advantages and disadvantages?

With a physiological walking aid, its handles, which can be adjusted in angle and length, can be flexibly adapted to the arm posture. Physiological walking aids are a special shape and have a support tube, a handle and a forearm support.

The tube is bent in such a way that it is horizontal at the height of the handle and slightly slanted upwards when bent.

Advantages
  • Promotes mobility
  • Aesthetic
  • Relieves body strain and reduces pain
Disadvantages
  • Relatively expensive

What are the characteristics of underarm supports and what are their advantages and disadvantages?

Armpit supports give a feeling of security, as do forearm crutches. However, armpit supports are clamped under the arms and you hold on to the handles at the same time.

This way you can support yourself with your whole weight on the underarm supports and still stand stable. Of course, you can adjust the height of the handle so that you can set your optimal grip height.

Advantages
  • Adjustable height of the handle
  • also suitable for people with a strong build
Disadvantages
  • If you support yourself for too long, nerves can be damaged
  • skin quickly becomes sore
  • back problems can occur

What are the characteristics of arthritis crutches and what are their advantages and disadvantages?

Arthritis crutches are specially designed for people with rheumatism, because they cannot walk very well with normal crutches. Because of the arthritis in the wrist or the inflammation, it is not possible for rheumatics to use normal forearm crutches. Pain is therefore pre-programmed.

The arthritis crutches are made in such a way that you can rest your forearms on the forearm shells so that the handle can be enclosed.

Caution: When using arthritis crutches, the wrists should never bend.

It is best to ask a physiotherapist to explain briefly how to adjust arthritis crutches. This involves adjusting the correct height, the position of the forearm cup and the distance and angle to the handle.

Advantages
  • Particularly practical for rheumatics
  • Padded forearm cup
  • Facilitates locomotion
Disadvantages
  • Can be stressful for the shoulders
  • Not too heavy duty
  • Handle can be twisted - sudden loss of grip

Buying criteria: These are the factors you can use to compare and evaluate crutches

In the following, we would like to show you which factors you can use to compare and evaluate crutches. This will make it easier for you to decide whether certain crutches are suitable for you.

The following factors should be taken into consideration:

  • Comfort
  • Height adjustability
  • Design / Material

In the following paragraphs you can read in detail what the individual purchase criteria are and how they should be classified.

Comfort

Comfort is important for crutches. The longer you have to carry the crutches, the more comfortable they should be. The handle should always be ergonomically shaped and preferably padded so that the duration of the illness can be kept as short as possible and you can recover as quickly as possible.

Height adjustability

Another important purchase criterion is height adjustability. Of course, the length and height of the crutches should be individually adjustable so that the crutches can be adapted as optimally as possible to your needs and size.

Design / Material

There are many designers who work to improve the aesthetics of crutches as much as possible. The appearance of the crutches also has an effect on your well-being.

There are many different crutches in different materials. It is important to choose a material that is stable and robust. For example, there are crutches made of light anodised aluminium or powder-coated crutches or shock-absorbing rubber handles.

Trivia: Facts worth knowing about crutches

How do I adjust crutches correctly?

In order to adjust your crutches correctly, you must first determine the appropriate crutch height. This always depends on the height of the person concerned.

First you have to stand relaxed and let your arms dangle loosely. The length must be adjusted so that the handle of the crutches is at the same height as your wrists.

Can I take my crutches with me on a plane?

Yes, of course! In general, walking sticks, crutches and other walking aids can be taken on a plane without any problems. This is because they are considered a medical necessity and are permitted for this reason.

Note: You do not need to register or give prior notice to take crutches on a plane. You do not have to pay an additional fee.

How long do I have to use crutches after a hip operation?

Basically, you leave the clinic after a hip operation after about 1-2 weeks. After that, you will be prescribed a rollator or crutches.

How long you have to use these always depends on your recovery rate and how much pain you feel. As a rule, they are needed for about four weeks.

Can I also borrow crutches?

Yes, you can also borrow crutches from regional medical supply stores. They often offer the possibility to borrow certain aids for a certain, temporary period of time. You can also borrow wheelchairs or walkers there.

Normally, if you have a diagnosis from your family doctor or a specialist, a prescription is sufficient to get crutches. It is best to ask your doctor or contact your local medical supply store.

Can I drive a car with crutches?

This question cannot be answered completely by law. In principle, there are no regulations. One law (§315c) states that you are liable to prosecution if you are unable to drive a car due to physical or mental deficiencies.

Of course, you can get a doctor's certificate of fitness to drive, but it is not easy to get one.

What accessories are available for forearm crutches?

There are many accessories that you can buy for your crutches. For example, you can buy the following accessories:

  • Cycling gloves
  • Ice axe/ice scraper
  • Grip padding/arm shell padding
  • Stand
  • Halteban

What accessories do I need for my crutches in snow or winter?

The risk of slipping with the rubber caps is relatively high on certain icy surfaces. That is why the right accessories help in these cases. There are certain winter spikes to buy to prevent slipping on ice.

Image source: 123rf.com / Wasilewski A.

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