All About Lofstrand Crutches
Updated: Feb 6
Why Dr. Scott prefers her patients use Lofstrand (elbow/forearm) crutches
Crutches are used after hip arthroscopy and other hip procedures to protect the hip joint, help the damaged structures heal and prevent tendonitis and overuse.
Many surgeons prescribe traditional underarm crutches which can be cumbersome and place uncomfortable pressure in the axilla (armpit). Often patients will complain of chafing and bruising on the underarm, particularly if they are using the crutches for more than 1-2 weeks.
Dr. Scott prefers to prescribe her patients Lofstrand crutches, which support the weight of the body through the forearms instead of the axilla. These are also commonly called elbow crutches. Common in Europe, they are ideal for people who need to use crutches long term for chronic conditions such as cerebral palsy and osteoarthritis. In addition to being lighter weight and more comfortable, they also provide better stability and support when walking.
This patient models her hip brace and crutches the day after her hip arthroscopy. The forearm crutches allow her to stand upright without hunching over which would put strain on the hip and low back.
She rests her operative leg lightly on the ground to protect it while still bearing the majority of her weight through the crutch.
Her brace is appropriately tight around her waist and thigh, providing support and protecting the healing labrum and hip capsule.
Even though you may only need to be on crutches for 2-6 weeks after surgery, having comfortable crutches that are easy to use makes a big difference.
When preparing for hip surgery, be sure to ask what type of crutches your surgeon routinely prescribe for their patients and consider requesting Lofstrand crutches if available.