For decades, people have used crutches to aid their mobility if they have an injured foot or ankle. However crutches become uncomfortable, they place strain on your hands, and movement is slow. If you cannot place weight on your foot or ankle and still want to remain active, then the knee scooter is the ideal mobility device for you.
The knee scooter is a four-wheel device that features a comfy knee pad and a steering column which lets you move easily. Upon purchasing a knee scooter, you need to adjust the alignment and height of the knee pad, as well as the height of the steering column to suit your body, then place your knee on the padded rest and you can roll yourself around whilst using the steering column for support and to turn.
As simple as this may sound, there are some nuances of using a knee scooter and you will want to know how to use a knee scooter in a way that you are as comfortable as possible.
What is the best way to use a knee scooter?
- First things first, before you mount your knee walker, always make sure that the parking brake is fully engaged so that you can establish your positioning without it rolling away and causing any potential injury to yourself.
- In order to use your knee scooter comfortably you need to establish the proper fit for your body when you are standing. Place your injured leg on the knee pad at a 90 degree angle while your other leg is standing straight with your uninjured foot flat on the ground; ensure that your hips are even. Raise the handlebars so that they are at a comfortable level to your height. Your body should not be hunched over while you use this knee scooter. Most of these knee walkers can be adjusted without the use of any special tools, but this is not the case for all of them.
- Once you have adjusted your knee scooter to comfortably suit your body, place your injured leg on the knee pad and get balanced. Once you are balanced you can release the brake and start moving. To move the knee walker, push yourself with your good foot forwards or backwards. Allow the walker to glide and as it slows down, push again.
- You need to practice using your knee scooter. Practice your walking and turning; this will help you identify if you need to make any further changes to increase your comfort. Always keep your head up so that you can safely navigate around any obstacles in your path. Practice until you are steady and balanced. Once you have established your balance on a flat surface, then practice on bumpy surfaces such as moving from the bare floor to a rug. Get acquainted with the hand brakes too.
- Using the bathroom: The time will come when you need to use the bathroom, whether it is to use the toilet or to take a shower or bath. Whilst getting into and out of the shower, make sure that your knee scooter is correctly positioned. Turn on the water in the shower first and then turn your knee walker and close the parking brake. In this way, you can move your weight from the scooter itself. Once you have finished showering then it will already be in place to support you. Use this technique for getting into and out of bed or a chair.
- Knee scooters are not to be used at a high speed. You need to move carefully and at a controlled speed, practicing safety for yourself at all times. When you make turns on this walker, apply the brake so that you can move slowly, otherwise you risk tipping the scooter. In addition to slowing down the scooter with the hand brake, you can also use your good foot to slow yourself down.
- Maintain a safe balance at all times; always keep your knee on the comfort pad and balance your weight over the center of the knee scooter. Try and limit reaching and stretching out from it.
- Periodically check your scooter. Over time the routine nuts and bolts can become loose, so make it a habit to check the nuts and bolts after use and re-tighten as necessary.
- Do not exceed the manufacturer’s weight limitation.
- Wear a non-slip shoe on the foot that is not injured. This will help you to maintain your grip on the floor as you use this foot to push your body.
- Always take extra care when you move from one surface type to another, you may find yourself off balance if you move from a laminated floor to a carpet, for instance.
- When braking, your braking wheel must be in contact with the floor, and it works best with weight on the walker.
Knee scooters have simplified movement if you have an injured leg, especially in comparison to that of using crutches. They enable you to move more smoothly, quickly, and comfortably, whilst still allowing your injured ankle or foot to fully recover.
Always check the customer reviews on the knee scooter that you want to purchase, this will tell you if the scooter is easy to assemble and you will have a better idea about the quality you will be receiving.