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How to Use Crutches Correctly – Ask Doctor Jo

Hey everybody, it’s Doctor Jo, and today I’m
gonna show you how to use some crutches. I had hip surgery recently, so I’ve had the
pleasure of hobbling around on crutches for several weeks now. And sometimes they’re a
little harder than you think they are. But let me start off with showing you how to get
the right height for you. When you first get your crutches, the buttons here, which you
can’t see cause they’ve got some cool Gamecocks over them, actually have heights. So it starts
off, you know, 5’3″, 5’4″, 5’5″, 5’6″ and it’s pretty accurate. But what you really
want to do, the important part is these should not actually be in your armpit. I think people
get confused with that a little bit. Now sometimes you can lean on them if you’re talking to
somebody, but while you’re actually walking with the crutches, you don’t want them pressing
there because you have an axillary nerve that can actually get compressed if you put a lot
of pressure on it for a long period of them, and then you’re gonna have arm issues after
that. So you want to be able to get about 2 fingers in between the top of the crutch
and your armpit. So when you’re standing, if you can do that, that’s about where you
want it. You want to have just a slight bend in your elbows as well cause you can move
the handles, but it doesn’t have to be a big bend, just a slight bend because when your
walking with the crutches, you don’t want them super close, you want them out to the
side just a little bit cause that’s gonna give you some more stability while you’re
walking. So once you have all of that in place, you get to the walking part, and there’s different
types of weight bearing for people when their doing crutches. You’re non-weight bearing.
You can be toe-touch weight bearing which is about 20% of your body weight. You can
be partial weight bearing, and then weight bearing as tolerated where it’s just kind
of help give you a little bit of balance. So the first one I’m gonna show you is non-weight
bearing. And then we’ll kind of progress from there. The first one is non-weigh bearing.
So if you’re not allowed to put any weight on your leg, if you’re kind of holding it
up in the air, the crutches are gonna take the place of your right leg. So if my right
leg was gonna go forward, that’s when my crutches go forward. So you just bring them forward,
and kind of hop through. You want to make sure you’re not going far because you’re gonna
lose your balance. So just almost like a normal step when you go through. And you can also
see my crutches are a little bit wider than my body because that gives you more stability.
So you don’t want them close, you want them our just a little bit again to give you that
support and balance. The next one would be a toe-touch weight bearing which, depending
on your surgery, is either really just your toes are touching down, or your foot is actually
flat on the ground, but toe-touch is about 20% of your body weight. So some people will
tell you imagine that there’s egg shells underneath your foot, and you don’t want to crush them.
So you’re really just placing your foot down, but again the crutches are taking on all the
weight. So the crutches are gonna follow that foot the whole time and take the place of
actually putting the weight on that leg. So when my right leg goes forward, the crutches
go forward. And I’m really just placing that foot down. I’m not really putting any weight
on it. But I’m just placing it gently on the ground. Again, not taking a big step, just
trying to take a normal step while you’re walking. After you progress a little bit and
you don’t need to do the toe touch anymore, and you’re partial weight bearing, or maybe
weight bearing as tolerated, but you still need a little bit of assistance, then you
can go down to one crutch. When you go down to the one crutch, you want to put it on the
opposite side, so it’s gonna follow the right side wherever it goes. So kind of like a cane,
it’s there to give you that support. So as my right goes forward, the crutch goes forward,
and I’m just stepping through. Not leaning over onto the crutch, you’re not leaning and
just walking like this, you’re still trying to be pretty upright, and that crutch is just
giving you a little bit of support. Getting closer to being able to walk without it. So
there you have it. That’s how to walk with come crutches. If you have any questions,
leave them in the comments section. If you’d like to check out some other videos, go to If you like the video, click the like button. And remember, be safe, have
fun, and I hope you feel better soon.


  1. KaiGamerFTW
    KaiGamerFTW March 6, 2018

    Finally no more suffering. I just broke my leg and all my friends at school said I was using them wrong. Thanks your a life saver no more suffering for me

  2. Dina Karan
    Dina Karan March 10, 2018

    I have a doubt, my right foot (distrateral femur) fractured. which side hold crutches in weight bearing time .. kindly answer me.

  3. Monricko Lyles
    Monricko Lyles March 18, 2018

    i have crutches and thanks for the arm pit part it was really helpful:)

  4. Alyssa Sowell
    Alyssa Sowell April 6, 2018

    Lol I wish I could just say I broke a leg but no I did something really freaking stupid. I stepped right onto a dog comb and the prongs went straight into my foot…

  5. Sharon Ewing
    Sharon Ewing April 6, 2018

    I love how u make the right things because I broke a leg and i did not now how to use crutches and this is a very good video

  6. Ccs1989
    Ccs1989 April 6, 2018

    I was not prepared for how much of a workout using crutches is. Looks easy in a video, is so difficult on the body.

  7. varun kumar
    varun kumar April 15, 2018

    Hi will u pls suggest me how to use crutches. I am suffering from a neurological disorder from past several years, i can stand with the help of walker .i want to use crutches without knee braces….help me pls

  8. Juan Gonzalez
    Juan Gonzalez April 16, 2018

    Thanks for the tutorial

  9. hollies clubhouse
    hollies clubhouse April 17, 2018

    i had to immobilize for 10 weeks after hurting my foot and heel. My dr. said it was likely tears in my plantar fascia. Now i can stand and try walking. I've been doing physical therapy for 2 weeks. I can feel a lot of improvement, but how long is it going to take to get back to normal? How long until i can just walk around normally? I can gently walk around my house, but it gets sore around the calf and ankle quickly. Resting my foot gave me calf and ankle atrophy. Should i still do my stretches/strengthening if i feel sore?

  10. erina ahmad
    erina ahmad April 18, 2018

    awww thank you so much !! this video help me a lot. I'm going to have my practical test tomorrow . I'm quite nervous.

  11. Life. Weirdo.
    Life. Weirdo. April 27, 2018

    This is super helpful, I broke my ankle and I was using canes. Did not work with the canes, but when I got the crutches I didn’t know how to use them, this is the most popular and helpful video, Ever.

  12. MTEDITZ7
    MTEDITZ7 May 4, 2018

    my hand is hurting when i press down to walk and push myself up, what did i do wrong

  13. TL2354
    TL2354 May 7, 2018

    Awesome! I’m having surgery on my left hip this week so I know what I have to do

  14. Nicholstop :
    Nicholstop : May 11, 2018

    I messed my hip up trying to kick a ball something popped really loud so I’ll be interested what the mri says. They tried to give me an old man walker and I thought it’d look pretty weird to be walking around my highschool with a walker so I went to Walmart and got some crutches hopefully this works

  15. Emily Cupcake
    Emily Cupcake May 16, 2018

    I fell on the steps while home alone. I'm pretty sure I twisted it, and it really hurts. Sometimes my mom won't believe me. Anyways, do I need crutches for this? Please answer ASAP, it'll really help.

  16. Cezzy Bloger
    Cezzy Bloger May 17, 2018

    Lol this is so usefule! Subbing right now

  17. E
    E May 30, 2018

    I stumbled upon this, and watched this for the heck of it, despite not needing crutches. However, the very next day, I broke my ankle and I now need crutches, so I think this is a very good example of real-life foreshadowing 👌

  18. Peggy Bunn
    Peggy Bunn June 1, 2018

    I have a torn meniscus and have been waiting for treatment at sports medicine. In the mean time, I'm using crutches because I cannot bear weight on my toes and cannot walk without tons of burning. Anyway, I used the this morning and my leg was shaking so bad the entire time. I was about to throw them in the dumpster. Lol ill try the adjustments and see if it helps. I know the shaking won't stop because I have no strength in it.

  19. Lolli Pop
    Lolli Pop June 12, 2018

    Thanks I just got my crutches yesterday night and I was wondering why my arms were hurting

  20. elizabeth n
    elizabeth n June 18, 2018

    I have a grade 3 ankle sprain and I’m on crutches now

  21. HydnBB2
    HydnBB2 June 19, 2018

    Thank you so much for the tutorial! My husband got me a pair of crutches because I got a really bad sprain in the ankle and he adjusted the length ALL TOTALLY WRONG! My armpits were hurting! Now I know why…!😁

  22. Eric Mark
    Eric Mark June 22, 2018

    How to take off my clothes in the bathroom while using the crutches?

  23. VixiMixi
    VixiMixi June 28, 2018

    thanks, I have crutches because of an OCD lesion in my knee and need to be on them for 3 months or more!

  24. Yuri Jeong
    Yuri Jeong July 9, 2018

    I got broken foot 5 weeks ago from now….why am I watching this video only now….dang it. The hospital TOTALLY taught me NOTHING !!! OMG ! You seems to me like an angel on youtube oh my god.. So, so far, when I climb the stairs of my apartment 4th floor, I just hopped, like, 'real hop' like a frog. hahahahaha Ah…

  25. Erica Wagner
    Erica Wagner July 11, 2018

    I need help with the two one I was running in my house then I fell it hurt so bad I had to use crutches

  26. Ranger Citrus
    Ranger Citrus July 11, 2018

    Thank you so much! I am 11 and i fractured my tibia and just got crutches and a cast. I hope i can go back to camp now!

  27. Madeline White
    Madeline White July 19, 2018

    Hello. I had a tibial tubercle osteotomy 4 weeks ago and I just found out through your video that I’ve been walking the wrong way. I have a 0 degree locking brace that I have to keep on for 6 weeks and I’m suppose to be non weight bearing for those weeks. Apparently I’ve been doing the toe touch method which could explain the amount of pain I’m in. Could I have possibly hindered my healing by walking the wrong way? I’m due to start therapy in the next week (as of now I can’t move my leg at all when I’m in a sit/laid down position and I haven’t bent my knee in these 4 weeks. As per my doctor my leg muscles are weak but my thigh muscles still have strength).

  28. cool purp45
    cool purp45 July 24, 2018

    i break the side of my foot to work.. slightly broke the bone at the tip. i was told that i needed a cast but because i had no money could not afford a crutch. i was given 3 weeks off. for 2 weeks i was walking on my foot and the third week someone got me a crutch. did i damage my foot

  29. E&S Wow
    E&S Wow July 26, 2018

    Thanks so much for this video! I broke a bone in my ankle today while pushing my daughter in her stroller have been struggling since I got home from the hospital.

  30. Jishnu John
    Jishnu John July 27, 2018

    in Hemiplegia cases auxiliary crutch is it helpful?

  31. Dinesh Sharma
    Dinesh Sharma August 13, 2018

    Thanks for this video but Can you explain about how a client with crutches to sit and stand?? Like supine to standing position and standing to sitting position with Affected side and non affected side involving….

  32. Poser disposer
    Poser disposer August 22, 2018

    Thank you so so much! I got my crutches today and I’ve been using them wrong. My armpits are hurting because my arms were rested on the pads the entire time I was using them. I adjusted them and they are much more comfortable now. Thank you again!!:)

  33. Abby D
    Abby D August 31, 2018

    I know I'm late, but how do you adjust the handles? Mine are way too long. I fractured my ankle the other day and it is no-weight-bearing injury.

  34. A. D.
    A. D. September 6, 2018

    Thank you kindly.

  35. StikerMunster
    StikerMunster September 9, 2018

    Just shattered my ankle in four places at work yesterday and this video is seriously a life saver. First time I've broken something and I had to go all out! Lol. Thank you so much for this video. It's really helpful.

  36. Richard Smiley
    Richard Smiley September 14, 2018

    Thank you

  37. bull moose
    bull moose September 17, 2018

    Bunion surgery. Scary.

  38. Sofia Alcalá
    Sofia Alcalá September 20, 2018

    What would you recommend for a sprained ankle? Should i put my foot lightly on the ground or just avoid putting any pressure on it?

  39. Yan-YanTheBeeQueen
    Yan-YanTheBeeQueen September 21, 2018

    I fractured my ankle

  40. Meag
    Meag September 22, 2018

    My crutches are too big so there is no space between the crutches and armpit

  41. libby oatway
    libby oatway September 25, 2018

    thanks so much, im 11 years and ld and broke my foot. im in so much pain and just got crutches. im so scared to fall and hurt my foot again 🙁

  42. Anna Lappas
    Anna Lappas October 6, 2018

    I just got a foot injury today in gymnastics sadly and I got crutches. They showed me how to use them but I was still a little confused so this helped me a lot.

  43. TheHonestjbone
    TheHonestjbone October 13, 2018

    post acl surgery, this video helped me thank you

  44. Nikita garg
    Nikita garg October 17, 2018

    Nice video mam.
    Mam please upload your video on how to move with one crutches.

  45. A Person
    A Person October 19, 2018

    I hate Crutches

  46. A Person
    A Person October 19, 2018

    I have them Right now

  47. Annie Derbabian
    Annie Derbabian October 27, 2018

    Having surgery on my other knee and this time I will get the crutches down pat. Last time I struggled! Thanks!!!!

  48. Yvonne Evans
    Yvonne Evans November 1, 2018

    Thank you for the informative video. Can you address how to use one crutch if you have an injury to your shoulder on the opposite side of your sprained ankle (Splinted in emergency room)? I need to use one crutch but painful when placed under the injured shoulder. Do I step with the bad foot or not. TIA

  49. Kübra Eğlence
    Kübra Eğlence November 1, 2018

    I used my crutches wrong for 1 week

  50. Fallin IntoTheSky
    Fallin IntoTheSky November 2, 2018

    I just got them today and I almost fell. Definitely not as easy as it looks

  51. Allison Trombley
    Allison Trombley November 5, 2018

    I just got my cruches today and they r kinda hard to use hahaha school is gonna stop

  52. Completly8Crazy8Girl
    Completly8Crazy8Girl November 5, 2018

    i just discovered your channel and you are so nice and cool. real pleasure to watch

  53. Ethan Mojo
    Ethan Mojo November 17, 2018

    Yeah idk how I stumbled upon this but I’ve never broken or sprained a bone so far in my life (knock on wood I don’t ever) and I don’t know how I found this

  54. K Lamm
    K Lamm November 25, 2018

    Thanks, recently broke my toe and I’m struggling with crutches. This helped greatly. Turned out we had the wrong height adjustment as well.

  55. Mario Rodriguez
    Mario Rodriguez November 26, 2018

    I got them today is hard

  56. Jacob Rowe
    Jacob Rowe December 6, 2018

    Thank you so much I just got crutches after dislocating my knee and this helps a lot.

  57. Dani Boi
    Dani Boi December 18, 2018

    Oh god, I've been placing my armpit directly where you said not to place them on. My arm is killiinnggg meeee. But hopefully tomorrow going to school will be better by following this tip

  58. Autumn Jarvis
    Autumn Jarvis January 1, 2019

    I just got crutches a week ago

  59. Maya Kirigin
    Maya Kirigin January 4, 2019

    Thank you! I broke my ankle and I am using a scooter but will need Churches too

  60. reireirat
    reireirat January 23, 2019

    I sprained my ankle pretty dad wrapped it up..
    At school.. (SO FRICKEN PAINFUL!!!)
    I told my mom and she said I might have to go to the
    Doctors to see if i have to get crutches so.. I am..

  61. EnergeticWaves
    EnergeticWaves January 28, 2019

    great ideas. thank you

  62. Jennifer Unicorns
    Jennifer Unicorns January 29, 2019

    I got them today

  63. JonnyIsDaBoss
    JonnyIsDaBoss January 29, 2019

    I got crutches today and I have a brace on my right leg because I dislocated my knee and when I use the crutches it hurts my left foot after using them for like 30seconds-1min

  64. Akari
    Akari February 1, 2019

    I broke my toe. Do I need crutches?

  65. dalekorpi
    dalekorpi February 3, 2019

    Well done, how long for crutches on anterior hip replacement? Well done Dr. Jo

  66. ellielucy747
    ellielucy747 February 4, 2019

    i just sprained my ankle and i need crutches and i keep getting them stuck on the ground and almost face planting 😂

  67. Just A Star
    Just A Star February 6, 2019

    This is actually REALY hard,I broke my ankle on my tree house ladder and I need crutches now.😢

  68. some dude
    some dude February 7, 2019

    I broke my ankle ya ester day playing basket ball and I can’t put any weight in it I have crutches but I keep slipping. 😔

  69. Leticia Coronel
    Leticia Coronel February 17, 2019

    Just got crutches yesterday i woke up this morning and my armpit hurts. "I cant wait for school" 😓.

  70. SkyPickel
    SkyPickel February 19, 2019

    My armpits always hurt, even though there is space between them and the crutch. Any tips?

  71. Simon Goldman
    Simon Goldman February 20, 2019

    How do I carry items in my hand(s) while using crutches?

  72. leonie johnson
    leonie johnson February 24, 2019

    thx dr jo xx love u

  73. Drawing_Ros è
    Drawing_Ros è March 6, 2019

    THANK YO U SO MUCH DR.JO!!! I sprained the whole side of my foot and pulled a muscle in my foot and it really hurts to use them!!

  74. May C
    May C March 6, 2019

    i recently injured my right knee and have to use Crutches . but because i had sprained my left ankle before quite badly(sometimes it hurts even after a few years if i walk too much) , I'm really afraid to strain my left leg as well. what should i do?

  75. Random Person
    Random Person March 24, 2019

    I got crutches today because I sprained my ankle bad

  76. urbanfireblade
    urbanfireblade March 28, 2019

    Good video Jo. It's my 1st day on crutches with a fractured fibula, it's really helpful to see how to use them and with your added advice. Many thanks!

  77. RebornsxAvax
    RebornsxAvax April 1, 2019

    I got crutches today… they hurt like heck on my armpits and they are chaving on my high upper back. I need tips!!!! 😭💔

  78. triple 0verkillZ
    triple 0verkillZ April 1, 2019

    Bro I just naturally did the 20 percent weight bearing thing and everyone at school was like your doing it wrong even though my doctor told me to do that.

  79. Nusi
    Nusi April 4, 2019

    Its been 4 days of walking with crutches and I think I put too much pressure on my axillary nerve and now my right arm is hurting. 😅

  80. Yousif
    Yousif April 9, 2019

    this helps out a bit, i most likely tore my acl and mcl

  81. Leo Lover
    Leo Lover April 14, 2019

    Okay I have a Salter-Hilton type 2 fracture/break in my lower end of my tibia. I just broke it on Thursday. For some reason my arms are superrrr sore from using my crutches. Idk why my arms are super sore when I have only had crutches for like 2 full days. Can someone please tell me why?

  82. Leelee Tan
    Leelee Tan April 14, 2019

    This is going to be useful for me for my knee surgery next month. I have watched your video from 2013 when I had been trying to learn knee strengthening exercises for dislocated knee (chondromalacia and patella tilt) and and now I'm here again before my MPFL.

  83. Daisy Flowers
    Daisy Flowers April 16, 2019

    Thank you cause I kept falling and my leg kept getting worse thanks for the information

  84. Carol Morris
    Carol Morris April 26, 2019

    I had a Schatzker VI Tibia plateau fracture (worst knee fracture). I have been in a wheel chair with a full leg extender for my totally braced injured leg. I used crutches before but like all the demonstrations they were with the knee bent slightly back. I have been having physio but there is no way I can balance on crutches with my injured leg extended in front of me. Anybody have any tips. I know crutches will be my next hurdle, with zero weight bearing.

  85. Bad Bitch
    Bad Bitch May 6, 2019

    I use forearm crutches

  86. Eleanor Proudfoot
    Eleanor Proudfoot May 12, 2019

    I have a broken bone in my top part of my foot Iv got a moon boot and crutches I can't walk with the crutches as I can't balance on one leg is it ok to walk on your heal

  87. Tasha Smith
    Tasha Smith May 12, 2019

    I sprained my ankle but I'm not in crutches

  88. Ella Peters
    Ella Peters May 24, 2019

    Hello. In the non- weight bearing gait, was that a 2 point gait or 3 point gait?

  89. Abby Kalinowski
    Abby Kalinowski May 30, 2019

    I sprained my ankle yesterday, and just found out that ive been using crutches wrong!

  90. Big Daddy
    Big Daddy June 5, 2019

    No, I have been bedridden for around 5 months. When I try to stand I end up falling. I have crutches so can I use them to help me out

  91. Grace HILTON
    Grace HILTON June 22, 2019

    Hey I know I’m 2 yrs late but I need help. I’ve only had crutches for a day because I hurt my knee. It really hurts my upper rip and arm. I’ve got so many bruises already and I don’t know I could be able to use them. Do u know how to stop this

  92. Gamer Whiz
    Gamer Whiz July 10, 2019

    Thank you, this is invaluable.

  93. Carrie-ann Smith
    Carrie-ann Smith July 27, 2019

    I got cruches 1 minute ago because i was in the street on my eletric scooter and i fell and broke my whole leg it isnt as easy as you make it but still thanks for the vid .

  94. Faysal Alam
    Faysal Alam August 28, 2019

    Mam can tell techniques for management of axillary crutches

  95. Fabliha Roza
    Fabliha Roza September 5, 2019

    Such bad luck. I sprained my ankle a day before college started and stayed up late in the ER. Now I'm in a lot of pain. I have crutches now but it is so much harder than expected. I'm worried about going around campus in crutches. This video helped, thank you.

  96. Pink Glitz6
    Pink Glitz6 September 8, 2019

    Are crutches easy to work because I just got them

  97. Edward Ballew
    Edward Ballew September 9, 2019

    Go Gamecocks! My hip hurts.

  98. Deborah Cicconi
    Deborah Cicconi September 24, 2019

    Thank you. Well done.

  99. Gray Fox Ninja _
    Gray Fox Ninja _ October 1, 2019

    No one taught me this at the hospital and after 1 day of crutches my armpits and palms hurt really bad, I knew I was doing something wrong.

  100. Keighley JoLynn
    Keighley JoLynn October 1, 2019

    Hurt my foot and I'm very good with my crutches thanks to you

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