How to Use Crutches

If your orthopaedic foot and ankle specialist has said you’ll need to be non-weightbearing after a foot or ankle procedure, you might consider using crutches. Below are the steps to follow when fitting for crutches and using them.
 

First, determine the correct fit:  

          
Someone helping you should be able to fit two fingers under your arm when you are standing with crutches.​ With your arms hanging down, the crutch handle should be at the crease of your wrist.
  

If any of the above measurements are incorrect, adjust the height of the crutches.

Next, learn how to get up from a seated position: 

            

​Place both crutches in the hand that's on the same side as where you had your procedure. Push off from the chair with the uninvolved arm and use the good leg to rise up. Once upright, place crutches under arms.
 

Here's another view of getting up from a seated position:

 
        
 

 How to walk with your treated foot off the ground:

      
​               
​Move both crutches forward together. ​     Move body into the crutches. ​ Move forward on your good leg.
 

How to go up steps:

                          
​Get as close to the steps as possible. With crutches on the floor, and in one motion, bend the uninvolved knee and place the foot up on the first step. Use the crutches for assistance. The affected knee and leg will be bent and should not touch the step. ​Continue up the steps.
 

To come down steps, just reverse the process. Place the crutches on each step first, then move the foot to the same step. 

The American Orthopaedic Foot & Ankle Society (AOFAS) offers information on this site as an educational service. The content of FootCareMD, including text, images and graphics, is for informational purposes only. The content is not intended to substitute for professional medical advice, diagnoses or treatments. If you need medical advice, use the "Find an Orthopaedic Foot & Ankle Surgeon" tool at the top of this page or contact your primary doctor.