Top 5 Best Crutch Alternatives for 2021
In the UK, crutches are prescribed as standard for a wide range of common leg, knee, and ankle injuries. But while they’re the most popular mobility aid on the market, there’s a whole host of reasons why you might wish to find an alternative to crutches.
Many people find it difficult to get the hang of crutches, while others develop poor posture or experience hand and armpit pain during use. There’s also the significant drawback of having both hands occupied whenever you’re on your feet, and the effort that goes into consistently keeping your injured leg elevated. On top of these disadvantages – crutches can prove uncomfortable or impractical for sustained use, so they’re not always suitable for people with long-term health conditions or disabilities.
Thankfully, there’s a wide range of alternative mobility aids available, including everything from scooters to handheld canes – so we’ve put together a list of our top five best crutch alternatives for 2021 below.
1. KneeRover Evolution Steerable Seated Scooter
Great for those who struggle to keep their injured leg elevated, the KneeRover Evolution Steerable Seated Scooter is a mobility aid that prioritises comfort. There’s a large gel padded seat, and a front platform where you can rest your leg, while using the other to push yourself along. Handlebars are fitted to the front of the scooter, along with a convenient storage basket – and the scooter can be neatly folded for travel too.
Despite its folding mechanism, this is still a fairly bulky piece of kit to take with you, and using it requires sitting down, so you won’t benefit from the increased circulation you get from walking.
2. iWALK Hands Free Crutches
Designed to keep you as mobile as possible, without compromising your independence, the iWALK 3.0 hands-free knee crutch is an innovative mobility aid that you physically wear, rather than push, carry, or sit on.
The iWALK is strapped directly to your leg, and keeps your injured foot or ankle lifted up behind you, so there’s no need flex the leg to raise it off the ground yourself. You then walk on your other, weight-bearing leg, and the foot of the crutch itself, leaving both hands free to carry out your everyday tasks with minimal disruption. From golfing to cooking, carrying your kids and picking up the phone – the benefits are endless.
However, if your mobility issues are more extensive than an injured leg, or you need support with stability more generally, you may prefer a walking aid with wheels and a comfortable seat.
3. HurryCane Freedom Edition Folding Cane
A conveniently compact choice, the HurryCane Freedom Edition Folding Cane does as its name suggests, folding into a smaller shape that’s easy to carry. It has a pivoting base comprised of three feet, which helps to maximise stability, as well as a shock-absorbing handle designed to fit comfortably in the hand. This is also one of the most budget-friendly crutch alternatives on the market.
However, it’s worth mentioning that as with conventional crutches, the HurryCane provides no support for your injured leg, so you’ll be responsible for keeping it elevated to avoid bearing weight. You’ll also need one hand on the cane at all times to remain mobile, which limits your range of movement.
4. Drive Medical Four-Wheel Walker Rollator
With a sturdy four-wheel base, durable steel frame and the inclusion of a padded seat, it’s no wonder the Drive Medical Four-Wheel Walker Rollator is so popular amongst users with long-term conditions. There are reliable hand brakes to give you more control, and a small amount of convenient storage under the seat too.
One drawback of the Walker Rollator is that – while it transfers a lot of weight onto your upper body – there’s no means of suspending your injured leg, or keeping weight off it altogether. This might make it more suited to users who need help with stability in general – rather than recovering from a specific injury.
5. Livewell Jaunt Lite Mobility Scooter
The Livewell Jaunt Lite Mobility Scooter is an electric mobility aid, perfect for long-term users who need a lot of assistance getting around, and aren’t comfortable bearing any weight. There’s an adjustable seat and tiller, so it can be tailored to your exact requirements, and while it’s a sizeable scooter, it can be dismantled into five pieces, and fitted into the boot of a car.
As you might expect, this is the priciest mobility aid in the list, so if your injury is temporary, you might consider a more affordable alternative.