Knee walkers or knee scooters are composed of two, three or four wheels and are used as a walking aid. They are a new addition to the list of devices that assist in walking, such as standard walkers, traditional crutches, and canes. If one of the legs of the patient is unable to function properly, a knee walk is prescribed. The patient is able to rest that leg on the support provided by the walker and propel himself forward with the help of the other leg. The device comes with hand grips for easy and safe operation. In addition, the knee platform is padded or cushioned for minimal discomfort.
Many types of knee walkers are available on the market and they are usually listed for a price under $300. They come with features like steering mechanism, height adjustment, disc brake, and hands-free mechanism. Each knee walker specifies the weight capacity that it is able to withstand. Moreover, the minimum and maximum handle height is also given. You use a three-wheel or a four-wheel walker depending on your requirements. In some of the devices, the steering column might be folded for storage or transport. Since knee walkers are recommended only for a short period to patients who are recovering from injuries, it is also possible to rent them out for a short duration.
Knee walkers are advised to patients who are recovering from foot surgery, sprains, amputation, ulcers of the foot, lower leg injury, and breaks. Some of the knee walkers available out there are heavy duty and tall. They are a bit more expensive than standard knee walkers because they offer a few additional features. Most of them are designed to be portable, which is a great feature. The knee pad height is also adjustable like that of the handle so that the device could be used for a number of patients.
Walkers with 300 lbs weight capacity are recommended to patients who need non-weight bearing mobility. These are usually meant for severe ankle or foot injuries. A knee walker may also be called by many other names, such as a leg walker, an orthopedic scooter, and a knee caddy. Modern knee walkers are designed for outdoor use and they can be used over grass and paved surfaces. The portable devices in this range are quite lightweight and easy to carry around. For permanent disability, knee walkers are not suitable. In such a situation, a traditional or electronic wheelchair is recommended.
Traditional crutches may allow a patient to move freely even with a sprained ankle or other leg or foot injuries but it has many disadvantages. First of all, they are not easy to use. Secondly, the patient may not move fast and this makes him or her bound to the home. And lastly, there are risks of falling or tipping when using crutches for moving around. On the other hand, knee walkers provide a safe operation and are suitable for use even outdoors and in public areas without any embarrassment.