Six Questions To Ponder Before Choosing A Knee Walker

Posted on: 15 January 2015

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If an injury to your lower leg, ankle or foot has made it difficult to remain mobile, you might want to consider using a knee walker or knee scooter. Some advantages to using a stable knee walker, as opposed to using a cane or crutches, are having your hands free and being able to rest or elevate your affected limb. Before you choose a knee walker, here are six questions to ponder:

1. What Type of Injury or Condition Have You Experienced?

A knee walker will be most useful for an injury affecting the lower leg, ankle or foot. If you've experienced a fracture, tendinitis flare-up, surgery to the foot or ankle, or even amputation, you might want to consider the use of a knee walker. These mobility aids may be used on a temporary or long-term basis.

2. Have You Checked Knee-to-Floor Measurements and Weight Capacity?

You may be wondering why it's necessary to take measurements. While a person's height may play a key role in determining a suitable knee walker, torso and leg length can be a determining factor as well. To obtain the correct measurements, you'll need a tape measure.

Balance yourself against a wall or chair, then bend your affected leg at the knee. The distance between the floor and your bent knee will determine the correct measurement. A rolling knee walker from a site like Knee Walker Shop should indicate the user knee-to-floor height, and you can use this as your guideline.

Also, note the user height range of the model you're considering. Equally important, you need to be sure of the knee walker's weight capacity. Typically, knee walkers support 250-400 pounds.

3. Does the Knee Scooter Have Swiveling, Steerable Control With Hand Brakes?

If you choose a knee walker or scooter that does not steer, you must manually turn the walker yourself. This can be tiring when using the device for a long stretch of time. If you choose a knee walker with steering capabilities, it should be able to rotate at a 90-degree turn. This will enable you to negotiate wider turns.

Disc hand brakes will endure your safety. This is especially important if you use the device on hills or inclines, as well as ramps. The ergonomically designed steering wheel should adjust to the optimal user height.

4. What Other Features and Accessories Should You Look for?

Large wheels (at least 8 inches) will offer the best stability, for indoor and outdoor use. If optimal security, choose a four-wheeled knee walker, rather than one with two or three wheels. The knee pad should be well cushioned, with the proper width to suit your build.

As for accessories, you might prefer a large storage basket or mobility bag. Some knee walkers also include cup holders. A deluxe model may include a padded knee cover, or you might purchase one separately.

5. Do You Have Limited Storage Space?

If so, choose a folding knee walker. These are typically pre-assembled and fold for compact storage. To do so, the steering column will probably need to be lowered beneath the knee bench area.

6. Final Question: Should You Buy or Rent?

Depending upon your model preference and budget, you may prefer renting over buying. Some of the deluxe and large capacity models will cost more, making it more feasible to rent. Also, your insurance policy may cover rental costs, so inquire about this as well. If you're going to use the walker for just a week or so, renting is a good idea.

However, the model you prefer may not be available for rent, therefore you may decide to buy one outright. Also, if you have an ongoing condition that will require the use of a knee walker long-term or periodically, your best option is to buy one. This will be an investment, as it will be there for your use should you need it in the future.