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Crutch Positioning and Sizing


Updated June 15, 2014

Crutches are often used to minimize pressure and weight on an injured leg. Before using crutches, it is important to be instructed by a healthcare professional as to how to properly use them. This should include proper crutch positioning and sizing. Being adequately fitted with a pair of crutches is important for safe crutch use as well as to prevent possible nerve damage.

Tips for proper crutch sizing include:

  • The top of your crutches should be between 1 to 1 1/2 inches below your armpits while standing up straight.
  • The handgrips of the crutches should be even with the top of your hips.
  • There should be a slight bend in your elbows when you use the handgrips.
  • Hold the top of the crutches against your sides, and use your hands to absorb the weight. Do not press the top of the crutches into your armpits. This could result in damage to the nerves that run under your arms.
Following these tips should help ensure proper crutch sizing.


American Society of Orthopaedic Surgeons. How To Use Crutches, Canes, and Walkers. July 2007. Crutches.

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