Best Forearm Crutches for Long Term Use

A number of reasons may lead you to use crutches. You may have suffered a bone fracture in your legs or pulled a hamstring or sprained the ankle – or in the unfortunate case of an amputated leg or partial paralysis of the lower body. While there are a few types of crutches out there, including the traditional underarm crutches and the more recently popular hands-free crutches, forearm crutches are one of the most convenient to use, in case of the above mobility challenges. This article discusses about forearm crutches – how are they different from underarm crutches, and reviews some of the best forearm crutches for long term use.

Medline MDS805161 Aluminum...
ORTONYX Forearm Crutches 1...
Vive Forearm Crutches (Pair) -...
Ergobaum 7G by Ergoactives. 1...
in-Motion Forearm Crutches |...
ORTONYX Forearm Crutches with...
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Medline MDS805161 Aluminum...
ORTONYX Forearm Crutches 1...
Vive Forearm Crutches (Pair) -...
Ergobaum 7G by Ergoactives. 1...
in-Motion Forearm Crutches |...
ORTONYX Forearm Crutches with...
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Medline MDS805161 Aluminum...
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ORTONYX Forearm Crutches 1...
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ORTONYX Forearm Crutches with...
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ORTONYX Forearm Crutches with...
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Last update 2020-06-29 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Forearm Crutches for Long Term Use

The kind of crutch that will suit you the best will definitely depend on your body type, fitness levels and the stage of life that you are passing through. However, if you have the needed strength in your upper body, a forearm crutch may be your best bet. With the advancement in material technology, these devices have now become extremely lightweight making them all the more easy to use.

What is a Forearm Crutch?

Forearm crutches, a.k.a. elbow crutches are mobility assists that help your forearms and upper body carry your entire weight, transferring weight from the injured leg. The way they are designed, forearm crutches use more upper body strength than traditional crutches, however the weight of the body is spread across a much larger area on your arms. They are typically made of an aluminum tube shaft, are often height adjustable, and have a riveted hand grip connected with a forearm cuff for locking onto your forearm.

How is a Forearm Crutch Different from a Traditional Underarm Crutch?

While both types of crutches require a lot of upper body strength, forearm crutches are, so to speak, an upgrade over traditional underarm crutches, with the following benefits:

  • Comfort and weight distribution: While in underarm crutches much of the weight is borne by the wrists, in forearm crutches, the weight is distributed over your entire forearm. This is often important for longer periods of comfortable use. The forearm crutch uses a wide padded cuff on the forearm that helps to reduce strain on the forearm and wrists. The design of the underarm crutch does not allow this.
  • Encourages good posture: The way they are designed, forearm crutches make it easier for users to stand upright. Underarm crutch users have the tendency to bend over the crutch, thereby encouraging bad posture or slouching. Over long period of use, an underarm crutch can give you a bad back.

What to Look for While buying a Forearm Crutch for Long-Term Use?

  • Material of Construction & weight: Crutches bear your weight all day. Conversely, you have to carry around your crutches all day as well. Therefore, it is really important that the crutches are made of a durable but light metal to withstand human weight, and at the same time be lightweight for ease of use. You should look to buy crutches which weigh less than 5 lbs, both together.
  • Stability, Design & Comfort: The stability and design of a crutch significantly affect the comfort level with which you can use it. An ergonomic design helps to better distribute body weight on your entire forearm and through it your shoulders and chest muscles. Stability can be improved by making the low-end tip of the crutch wider and being made of a material which encourages friction with all kinds of flooring.
  • Size: Most crutches come with the feature of being height adjustable within a range. To maintain a good posture while walking on crutches, you should be able to adjust it to the right height. To measure your crutch height, you should stand upright and fully extend your hands beside your body. If you now fold your fingers to form a grip, the crutch grip height should be the distance from your grip to the ground. You should always ensure that this measurement is within the range of adjustable heights of your crutch.

Below we have reviewed some of the best forearm crutches for long term use and we sincerely hope that the information will help you in arriving at the best buying decision.

#1 Medline Forearm Crutches

The forearm crutches from well-known mobility assist company Medline are made of lightweight but high strength aluminum with vinyl coated arm cuffs. The vinyl coating helps to keep the crutches on your forearms by creating friction. Although the circumference of the arm cuff cannot be adjusted, the distance between the handle and the arm cuff can be adjusted to customize as per your arm size.

The crutches come in 3 sizes of Tall Adult (178 – 198 cm), Adult (152 – 188 cm) and Youth (127 – 157 cm), all of which can support a maximum weight capacity of 250 lbs. If you are a bariatric user with more body weight than this, you should consider an alternative product.

The crutches are fitted with expanded rubber tips for better traction with glossy floors. If you are anticipating heavy outdoor use for your crutches, you should consider buying extra tips, as you will notice that the tips are the first things to start to wear out.

The crutch handles are basic and made of solid plastic, which may require you to getting used to them. You may consider wearing padded bikers’ gloves if the handles start hurting your hands in the first few days after long use. These crutches are good for long term use and constructed for rough use.

PROS:

  • Easy to adjust for height with telescoping parts and locking nuts
  • Non-skid expanded rubber tips provide for more stability and friction while use
  • You can adjust the handle to arm cuff distance to match your forearm length
  • Lightweight and comfortable for long use
  • Convenient to carry a small bag along by hanging it on one of the open crutch handles
  • Good value for money

CONS:

  • Outdoor use for long will start to wear the crutch tips made of rubber; However, you can order for replacement tips to be fitted onto your crutches
  • Cuffs may be large for your forearms and cannot be adjusted to fit closely

Medline MDS805161 Aluminum...
  • Telescoping parts are manufactured with internal bushings and external lock nuts to provide totally silent usage
  • Vinyl-coated, tapered, contoured arm cuffs
  • Heavy-wall, high-strength aluminum tubing
  • Black components hide signs of wear and scratches;Height Range: 5 - 6'2(Inches)
  • Tall Adult has a 250-lb. weight capacity, Patient height, 5'10"-6'6"; Adult has a 250-lb. weight capacity, Patient height, 5'0"-6'2"; Youth has a 250-lb. weight capacity, Patient height, 4'2"-5'2"

Last update 2020-06-29 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

#2 Ortonyx Forearm Crutches

These forearm crutches from Ortonyx are made of high density aluminum that makes them durable and lightweight at the same time. Each crutch weighs around 1.15 lbs (0.5 kg) and is easily one of the lightest crutches out there.

The handle and the arm cuffs are made of polypropylene elastomer that gives the feeling of a firm padding for a comfortable grip. The device comes in 4 vibrant colors – blue, orange, purple and ocean. The height of the crutch can be adjusted from handle downwards in the range of 30 – 39 inches (from handle to floor) and there is a secure clip system to lock into a particular crutch height. The height adjustment option is available at one-inch increments which may not give you the perfect height. If your perfect crutch height lies somewhere in between, you should get a hole drilled midway between 2 existing options.

The device is noiseless as the crutch features a rubber tip that prevents the crutch from slipping on wet or glossy surfaces. The opening of the arm cuff is large in this device and cannot be adjusted as per your forearm size. This means that the crutch will not hang from your forearm if you leave the handle to complete some other work. Also, the length of the crutch from the handle to the arm cuff is also not adjustable. At less than 50 dollars for two crutches, this product is one of the best choices for long term use and can be used to support individuals weighing up to 308 lbs or about 140 kgs.

PROS:

  • Ergonomically designed handle makes it easier to hold the crutch for long use
  • Rubberised tips for noiseless use and more stability
  • Very lightweight and sturdy
  • Adjustable crutch height within a range of 9 inches

CONS:

  • The length from handle to arm cuff cannot be extended for a customizable fit for your arm
  • Arm cuff does not close, so you cannot leave the handle to attend to something else

ORTONYX Forearm Crutches 1...
  • HEAVY DUTY DESIGNED AND TESTED - Crutches Certified and Tested up to 308 lb Users Weight (EN ISO 11199-1)
  • EASY ADJUSTABLE Height (handle to floor) 30"-39"
  • COMFORTABLE Ergonomic Handle made of bi-injected polymer bring a real comfort for the hand
  • LIGHTWEIGHT BUT STURDY - One Crutch Weight less than 1.15 lb
  • Anti-noise cup; Made in France

Last update 2020-06-29 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

#3 Vive Forearm Crutches

The forearm crutches, from popular medical devices manufacturer Vive, are made of lightweight corrosion resistant aluminum and come in matte grey color. Each crutch is under 2 lbs in weight and both together can carry a maximum weight of 300 lbs or 136 kgs.

The handle is contoured for better hold and the height of the handle can be adjusted with a push-button system for increments or decrements of one inch. The handle height can be changed from 31 – 40 inches from the floor. The handle and the arm cuff have a monolithic design for better stability; however, this means that you cannot adjust the length of the forearm support and customize it as per your arm length. The cuff has a large opening for the forearm with holes on the ears on either side of the cuff. If you anticipate situations where you must leave the handle but want the crutch to stay on your arm, you can place an elastic band through the holes to secure the crutch to your arm. It will take away some aesthetics from your crutches but will pay you back with convenience.

The handles have reflectors on the front for better visibility in low light surroundings. The crutches have rubberized tips for noiseless use and better stability on wet and slippery surfaces.

PROS:

  • Made for durability with lightweight aluminum
  • Easy push-button adjustability within a range of 9 inches from handle height of 31 – 40 inches for better customization as per your height
  • Handle with contoured grips for better hold and reduce fatigue
  • Rubberised tips for better grip on ground

CONS:

  • No padding on handle may require you to wear padded gloves for longer use
  • Length of arm support cannot be adjusted

Vive Forearm Crutches (Pair) -...
  • DON’T LET YOUR INJURY HOLD YOU BACK: Providing a comfortable and secure experience, the forearm crutches eliminate the fatigue and pain caused by standard crutches while allowing you the mobility needed when managing a disability or recovering from an injury or surgery. The supportive, ergonomic grip is contoured to fit the hand, reducing hand and wrist fatigue and ensuring proper positioning for safe mobility throughout any activity.
  • LIGHTWEIGHT AND SUPPORTS 250 POUNDS: Arm cuff and hand grip are molded as one piece for greater stability and durability.The lightweight aluminum frame allows you to move easily. Corrosion-resistant, the durable frame supports up to 250 pounds.
  • ADJUSTABLE LENGTH FOR COMFORTABLE AND CUSTOMIZED FIT: Easy push button adjustments allow the height to be adjusted in 1” increments for a customized fit. Each crutch is capped with a non-skid, non-marking rubber tip for additional safety and security
  • STYLISH NEW FINISH: The forearm crutches have a stylish steel gray matte finish with black arm cuffs and hand grips.
  • VIVE GUARANTEE: 60 day guarantee so you can purchase now with confidence.

Last update 2020-06-29 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

#4 Ergobaum Forearm Crutches

The forearm crutches by Ergobaum are premium models with a lot of features. Accordingly, these are priced steeply at just under 200 dollars. Made of medical grade aluminum, the crutches can be folded in the middle for easier storage.

These are the only crutches that have shock absorbing systems which goes a long way to reduce shocks to the upper body from long use of crutches.

Other novel features include a flashlight, a horn (seldom used feature), and the option to adjust handle angle from +15 to -15 degrees.

The crutch is comfortable to use with padding on the handle and on the arm cuff. The arm cuff distance from the handle is also adjustable and the cuff has a padded strap so that the crutch does not fall off when you leave the handle. The best feature, however, is the knee rest which can be adjusted in height – and you will realize this as soon as you are required to wait in a queue for a moderately long time. Once you have adjusted the knee rests to your height, however, the crutches then automatically become left and right-handed, instead of being interchangeable. The crutch also has heavy duty non-skid tips which are an addition to the safety features. This is a feature rich device which you can look to purchase if you have a generous budget for a crutch.

PROS:

  • Easy adjustability of crutch height which makes the crutch suitable for use by individuals in height ranging from 5 ft to 6.6 ft
  • Adjustability in angle of the handle is really helpful to prevent fatigue from long use
  • Reflective light and band on the crutch make it visible in low light
  • Convenience of use: The padding on the handle and the arm cuff, along with the cuff strap to keep the crutch in place are features which increase the comfort of using this device
  • Reflectors on handle and forearm support make the device more visible in low light
  • Shock absorption mechanism on the crutches reduces strain on upper body

CONS:

  • The feature rich crutch is significantly heavier than other forearm crutches
  • Adjusting the knee rests take some work and a screwdriver

Ergobaum 7G by Ergoactives. 1...
  • Extensively designed to be the most comfortable and advanced forearm crutch available, the ERGOBAUM 7G is built for its users’ needs first. Its premium design features combined provides an unparalleled level of comfort and ease that is unrivaled by any other product on the market. Expect safety, performance, comfort and style; they will move you.
  • Highlights: Medical Grade Aluminum Material, Foldable Feature, Adjustable Handles, Adjustable Cuff & Height Settings, Non-Slip Ergocap High Performance Tips, Shock Absorbers, Knee-Rests, LED lights & Alert Buttons
  • Specs: UNIT WEIGHT: 2.90 lbs USER WEIGHT CAPACITY: Up to 350 lbs USER HEIGHT RANGE: 5'0" - 6'6" CUFF SIZE: Standard CUFF WIDTH: 3.50" CUFF LENGHT: 7.00" GRIP SIZE: Standard GRIP DIAMETER: 1.75" ERGOCAP (INCLUDED): High Performance (3/4") GRIP ANGLE RANGE: 15º / 0º / -15º GRIP (0º) TO CUFF (TOP) RANGE: 10.25" - 11.0" FLOOR TO GRIP (0º) HEIGHT RANGE: 32.0" - 40.0" OVERALL WIDTH: 4.50" OVERALL DEPTH: 10.0" FOLDED DIMENSIONS HEIGHT: 26.5" WIDTH: 4.50" DEPTH: 10.0"
  • Ergobaum 7G crutches were built for its users’ needs first. Its premium design features an integrated, patented shock absorption system, fully adjustable ergonomics, built-in flashlight and alert horn, durable and lightweight medical grade aluminum construction, and the patented ERGO CAP High Performance crutch tip.
  • Combined, each feature of the Ergobaum 7G crutches provides an unparalleled level of comfort and ease that is unrivaled by any other product on the market.

Last update 2020-06-29 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

#5 In-motion Forearm Crutches

The in-motion forearm crutches by Millennial Medical uses the patented Spring Assist technology inside the aluminum tubing to absorb shock coming from the ground upwards and reduces stress in the musculoskeletal structure of the upper body, forearm and wrists.

The cuffs are large in size and the diameter is not adjustable. In case you have smaller arms, they will not be fitting your arms closely. If this bothers you, you may want to clamp in the cuffs tighter by putting a high-tension elastic band around them which will make the diameter of the cuffs smaller. The distance between the handle and the cuffs can be adjusted to match your arm length.

The handles have an ergonomic design for better hold; however, they do not have padding which would have made them comfortable for long periods of use. The crutches are made of durable aluminum, weigh around 2 lbs each and can support a maximum user weight of 350 lbs. The crutches are equipped with anti-skid tips that makes them safer to use on wet and slippery surfaces. The crutch comes in two sizes of adult and youth and can be used by individuals ranging in height from 4’9” to 6’3”.

PROS:

  • The spring system reduces the effort that you need to put in to propel yourself forward; especially useful for heavy users who have disproportionately less upper body strength
  • Easily adjustable crutch height
  • Durable and sturdy; Suitable for bariatric users
  • Available in 2 sizes and 3 colours and fits most users

CONS:

  • Cuff diameter is not adjustable and will not fit smaller arms
  • Some users have had problems with the handle and the grip which have not lasted for long

in-Motion Forearm Crutches |...
  • SPRING-ASSISTED ARM-SUPPORT CRUTCHES: The patented Spring Assist Technology absorbs impact and returns kinetic energy to aid patient ambulation. Our Spring Assist Technology makes our springs quieter than traditional crutch springs and our forearm crutch padding helps reduce friction and divert pressure from each underarm so they don’t get sore.
  • ERGONOMIC HANDLE GRIPS & WRIST BRACES: The ergonomic positioning and design of the grips keep hands and wrists in their natural position, diminishing wrist pain and nerve damage. Each arm-support wrist brace fits snugly around the forearms and is designed to reduce impact on the wrist, lessening the possibility of carpal tunnel syndrome.
  • ARTICULATING CRUTCH TIPS: Our Sure Foot Articulating Tips give greater stability on uneven surfaces and unstable ground. They make our crutches excellent on solid, indoor surfaces such as hardwood floors or carpet, and are great on outdoor surfaces with grass, gravel, and dirt as well, giving the user extra maneuverability. Our crutches come in 2 sizes: adult and youth.
  • QUALITY CONSTRUCTION: The high quality construction of our crutches allows for heavy duty use with a maximum user weight capacity of 350lbs. The newly re-designed cylinder sleeve ensure strength and durability throughout the handle of the crutch.
  • REAT FOR POSTURE: In addition to added comfort on the wrists and shoulders, our highly adjustable, ergonomic design allows for users to naturally walk more erect, which is normally a challenge for most conventional crutch users, thus making them essential for a proper and speedy recovery. Can be helpful for patients undergoing physical therapy.

Last update 2020-06-29 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

#6 Ortonyx Forearm Crutches with Pivoting Closed Cuff

These forearm crutches from Ortonyx are made of lightweight aluminum with each crutch weighing little over 1.1 lbs, but offer durability at the same time and can support weights up to 330 pounds.

The forearm support length can also be adjusted between 8.5 – 11.5 inches (at increments of 0.75 inches) to match varying arm sizes of users. The closed style arm cuffs have hinges on which they can pivot, and the user has the option of using the crutch without the cuff. However, the cuff diameters cannot be adjusted and may not fit the user closely which will lead to the crutches slipping down if you release the handles to attend to some other work.

The height of the crutch from handle to floor can be adjusted easily across a range of 30 – 40 inches. However, there are only two holes for these two height options, and you cannot adjust in between to perfectly match your height. A workaround that you may want to consider for this is to measure the height that you need and get an extra hole drilled on the aluminum tubing.

PROS:

  • Multi-adjustability across the crutch height, length of the forearm support, and the option to use with or without the arm cuff offer customization to the user
  • Lightweight but sturdy device
  • Rubberised tips for noiseless use and prevents slipping on wet surfaces
  • Good value for money

CONS:

  • No padding on crutch handle may make it uncomfortable during long use
  • Cuff diameter cannot be adjusted and may not fit you closely
  • No reflector lights to make the device visible in low light conditions

ORTONYX Forearm Crutches with...
76 Reviews
ORTONYX Forearm Crutches with...
  • HEAVY DUTY DESIGNED AND TESTED - Certified and Tested up to 330 lb users weight and good for adults 5.2" - 7" tall
  • EASY ADJUSTABLE Height (handle to floor) 30"-40"
  • COMFORTABLE Ergonomic handle with adjustable arm support in range 8.5"-11.5"
  • LIGHTWEIGHT BUT STURDY - One Crutch Weight less than 1.15 lb
  • Works great for heavy and tall adults; Anti-noise cup; Made in France

Last update 2020-06-29 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Conclusion

A forearm crutch is a game changer for somebody who is looking to increase mobility and convenience of using a crutch. If you have been using a traditional crutch, you will immediately notice some of the benefits and over the long term will also feel less strain on your upper body. All in all, unless you prefer a wheelchair or you have injured both legs, the forearm crutch may just be your best bet for a single leg injury.

Prosenjit has extensive experience in clean energy financing, banking and data science. He is driven by making an impact on lives through data powered decision making. He is passionate about working at the cross section of healthcare and data science and has deployed machine learning models in hospitals as decision support systems, which have the capability of automatically identifying patients with COVID-19 from X-ray and CT-Scan images. He believes that machine learning can be utilized to significantly improve and automate senior care. By education, he has completed his MBA and B. Tech. in Computer Science and Engineering.

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