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Sizing Crutches

Sized Crutches
Picmonic
Measuring crutches is an important action to prevent pressure on the axilla, which could lead to neurovascular problems. Key facts to know include keeping at least 3 finger widths under the axilla, pointing the crutches 6 inches lateral from the heels, keeping a 30 degree flexion at the elbows, and knowing the tripod position. 
4 KEY FACTS
3 Finger Widths
(3) Tree using 3 Fingers

To prevent pressure on the axilla, make sure that there are at least 3 finger widths under the axilla.

6 Inches Lateral From Heel
(6) Sax Ladder at Heel

When fitting the crutch, ensure that the length is measured when there are 3 finger widths under the axilla to a point 6 inches lateral from the heel.

30 Degree Flexion
(30) Dirty Degrees of elbow Flexion

Handgrips are positioned so that there is no pressure on the axilla. The 30 degree elbow flexion is measured by a goniometer, when the patient is upright supporting their weight on the handgrips.

Tripod Position
Tripod

The basic crutch stance is a tripod position, which provides a wide and stable base of support. This means that the crutches are placed 6 inches in front of and 6 inches to the side of each foot. Patients learn the tripod position before learning a specific crutch walking gait.

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