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How to use Crutches

How to use Crutches

If you sustain a serious lower limb injury you may be asked by your doctor, surgeon or physiotherapist to use crutches. Using crutches for the first time can be difficult, not just with walking but also getting up from sitting to standing. It is important to know the safest and best way to use your crutches to ensure that you don’t put yourself at risk of further injury and here is how:

Moving from sitting to standing:

  • Sit upright on the edge of the chair

  • Place both crutches in the hand on the same side as the injured side and make a “H” shape with the crutches. Have the opposite hand on the chair

  • Push up with the uninjured leg, the hand on the bed and the hand on the crutches. Once standing steady yourself so you are balanced

  • Bring the crutches to the middle of your body. Swap the hand which is gripping your crutches and slide the arm into the crutch which is on the same side as your injury and bring your crutch by your side to balance

  • Slide the opposite arm in and bring the other crutch by your side

Standing to sitting (reverse the steps above):

Bring crutches to midline taking one arm out of the crutch at a time

Create a ‘H’ shape with the crutches and place your hand of your injured side on to the handles of the crutches. Bring the crutches to your injured side

Control yourself onto the bed using your uninjured leg, push through your crutches to lower yourself onto the chair reaching for the chair with your free hand


It is important to know firstly if you are allowed to weight bear or not which you would have been instructed by your surgeon. If you are allowed to weight bear (partial, as tolerated or full weight bearing) then you can place weight as allowed through your injured leg when walking with crutches. If you are not allowed to weight bear keep your injured leg bent behind your body and don’t let it touch the ground when walking.

  • Place both crutches in front of your body

  • Step in line to or step through the crutches, depending on how coordinated and confident you feel using your crutches, with your injured side

  • Step in line to or step through the crutches with your uninjured side

  • Remember to take small steps

Going up stairs:

  • Step up with “good” (uninjured) leg first

  • Next bring both crutches up onto the step

  • Bring “bad” (injured) leg up next

  • Only go up one stair at a time

Going down stairs:

  • Place crutches on the step you are going down onto first

  • Lower “Bad” (injured) leg down the step

  • Last bring your “good” (uninjured) leg down the stairs

  • Only go down one stair at a time

If you have any further questions or need anymore help call our Canning Vale practice on 6162 2616 or Hilton 6161 6091.

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