Knee scooters are also known as platform walkers or knee walkers. They’re an alternative to crutches and walkers. In this you can move much faster and it also reduces the pain in comparison to others. But a common question many people ask is how to use a knee scooters.
In this article you can find the answers you’re looking for on how to use knee scooters. Knowing how to use knee scooters makes your journey a much easy one.
What is a knee scooter?
This particular device has wheels and is a non-motorized device. Many people call it the knee walker and it provides you with a resting platform for injured knee. It also consists of handlebars to help support you.
This device helps anyone with an injured leg to move without putting weight on the leg. You can easily propel and move yourself forward when using this device. And the driver or rather the injured person can move wherever they want without further damaging their leg.
Why does a person use a knee scooter?
The main reason that any person uses a knee scooter is to help move themselves if they have a permanently or temporarily damaged leg. And since it becomes hard to walk using a damaged or injured leg/knee or ankle people use a knee scooter.
Another main reason is that it reduces the amount of pain a person feels when walking with a damaged leg. When a person uses crutches it only puts your body weight to your arms. But still many people find this uncomfortable.
But when you use a knee scooter, you only use your leg muscles to help move. But the rest for your leg gets to rest on the platform. Furthermore, this device is hands free equipment. With device you can simply go on about your daily routine without putting pressure on your leg.
How to use a knee scooter- Suitability
However, even though the knee scooter is a great piece of equipment, it is suitable only for a selected amount of people.
People with hip or knee surgeries
This device is specifically made for anyone with ankle or lower foot injuries. But if you have a knee or a hip issue and prefer to use a knee scooter it is best you contact a doctor before.
Both ankles and feet are injured
If both your ankles and feet are injured this device is not suitable for you. In order to use this you need to have one good foot to help move the knee scooter.
Balance and coordination issues
If you suffer from balance and coordination issues, it is best to not use this equipment for your safety. Because to use this device you must steer and balance the scooter.
Things to consider when buying a knee scooter
If you have a leg injury and you want to purchase a knee scooter you need to first consider where you travel to most often. Is the pathway gravelly or unpaved? Does it have grass or dirt? Is there snow, ice or rain. These are some questions you must ask yourself before purchasing.
This type is perfect for anyone that’s looking for a knee scooter to move around the house or indoors. Because this particular scooter is small in size it helps you to move around the house quite fast and smoothly. It also helps to avoid a lot of hassle.
You can even fit this scooter in small spaces such as tiny bathrooms and hallways. This knee scooter is overall ideal for anyone that lives in a small home and does not go out much.
All terrain scooter
This particular type of knee scooter is best for anyone that likes to spend time outside a lot. This is because this scooter is made in a way to fit the outside environments such as dirt and grass. You can even use this scooter on icy surfaces.
The main reason why this scooter is suitable and made for outside environments is because it has large wheels. The large wheels help to move through any surface without any hassle.
This type is designed for anyone that is under the height 5’5”. Adults as well as children can use this knee scooter. The feature in this type is quite similar to the features in the standard scooter. But specifically has the feature to fit smaller people.
But overall, before you decide on the type of knee scooter that you want to use, it is best you contact your physician. They will help to decide which scooter best fits you and why.
They will also help you to decide on the size that fits you and the type of model. So don’t make a decision without considering the advice of you primary care physician.
How to use a Knee Scooters
The first step that you must do is check if the hand brakes are still locked. This helps to ensure your safety and keeps the scooter stationary.
Now you must keep both your hands on the handlebars and raise the leg that is injured onto the platform. After you keep it safely on the platform you must keep the leg that is not injured on the ground.
Now check if you’re stable and well balanced. Now slowly start to unlock the brakes of the knee scooter. Use the leg that you kept on the ground to push the scooter and yourself either forward or backward.
If you want to stop the scooter all you want must do is, use your uninjured leg to apply weight onto the ground. Now gently use it to stop it from moving. But always keep in mind not to use the handbrakes if you want to stop the knee scooters. This is very dangerous.
After you manage to stop the scooter from moving all you have to do is lock the handbrakes. This helps to keep the scooter in place. Now when you’re getting off the scooter you can keep your hands on the handlebars to support yourself.
How to use a knee scooters- things to keep in mind and safety tips
Something that many people are concerned about is the fact that there is a possibility of falling on the knee scooter. This is quite dangerous especially for the elderly. The following tips are some precautions you can take to help avoid such dangerous situations.
You must first make sure that the height is adjusted in the correct position before you use the equipment.
Also before you use it make sure to check if the bolts, pins and nuts are secured and fastened.
When you use a knee scooter you must at all costs avoid using staircases. The same goes for steps and all types of escalators.
While you’re using the knee scooter, avoid trying to reach down or bending towards the ground. If you do this there’s a high chance that you might fall.
While maintaining the balance on the center make sure that all the wheels of the knee scooter are on the ground.
Avoid using the hand brakes to stop the scooter. If you want to stop the scooter, the safe way to do it is by using your uninjured foot. After you stop it, you must keep set the handbrakes so that it will not move.
When the scooter is moving do not remove your hands off the hand brakes at any cost. But if you want to carry anything with you, you can buy a basket for your scooter.
Also, you must avoid carrying a baby while using the scooter. And wear non-slip shoes for extra safety.
You must also be very careful when you transfer from one type of surface to another. This includes when transferring from pavement to carpet, sand to grass etc.
You must also avoid trying to pull yourself up while you are on the scooter. If you do this you might fall and injure yourself. Also, avoid sharp turns and high speeds
How to use a knee scooter on stairs
One thing you must know other than how to use a knee scooters is how to use one on stairs. The simple answer to how to use knee scooters on stairs is Don’t. This is very dangerous and can highly injure you.
You must also avoid trying to lift your knee scooter up the stairs as this injures you even more. But don’t be disheartened, there are other simple solutions for this matter.
The simplest answer to this is living with someone who is able. That person can lift the knee walker up and down for you. But if there are lots of stairs and you live alone, the solution to this might further down.
If you live alone, the best solution is to have two knee scooters. You can have one upstairs and the other one down stairs. Or you can also use an iwalk to get up and down the stairs. However, keep in mind that this takes some time to on and off.
If you have crutches with you, you can use this to slowly get up the stairs. Try this only if you have railings to hold on to. If not this is quite dangerous and can cause injuries if you fall.
If your home consist only a small amount of steps you might want to consider installing ramps. These are also called wheel chair ramps and mobility ramps. But keep in mind your fitness level and confidence to move up and down the ramp.
If you ankle or leg issue is only temporary you might want to set up a living area on the ground floor for the time being. To make things much easier and safer, try your best to live with a friend or family until you completely recover.
How to make a knee scooter more comfortable
Besides knowing how to use knee scooters you must also know how to make it comfortable to fit you. Many people complain saying knee scooter is killing my knee or knee walker hurts my knee. The answer to your discomfort is below.
Choose a suitable model
You can use almost every knee walker inside your home. But when it comes to outdoors this is not the case. The main reason for your discomfort is the size of the wheels of this equipment. Standard knee scooters are only made for indoor use as you will use it only on smooth surfaces.
Because of this, these types of models consist of hard tires. So when you go through rough surfaces it makes the ride highly uncomfortable and bumpy.
However, all terrains models are much suitable for the outdoors. This is because they have rubber tires which are big in size and are air filled. So when you go through rough surfaces it has the ability to absorb all types of shock.
But this type is not suitable for the indoors as it creates a lot of friction when you make turns. This is because rubber does not smoothly move on surfaces such as tiles or laminated floors. They also have the ability to damage and leave scars on the floor.
So keep in mind to purchase a terrain scooter only if you spend a lot of time outdoors. But if you’re a person that spends a lot of your time indoors you can use a model such as the Swivelmate.
Use the correct riding posture
If you want to comfortably ride the knee scooter, proper posture is the key. It will also help to avoid back pain and knee pain on your injured leg. Avoid hunching, and keep a straight back and relaxed posture when riding the knee scooter.
For a comfortable posture, make sure to keep your injured on the platform at a 90° angle. You must also wear comfortable shoes that help you to have a good grip when riding the scooter. Try your best to avoid using flip flops or slippers as they increase the possibility of slipping.
Adjust the knee platform to the correct height
One main reason that you get pain in your knee when using this equipment is because of the knee rest. If you have not adjusted it to the correct height it is very uncomfortable to ride on.
The correct height to adjust the knee rest is to have it in the same distance as your bent knee and the floor.
If you adjust your knee rest too high you will face the following issues. It causes too much strain your knee. You will also face difficulty in keeping your good leg on the ground.
When this happens it makes difficult for you take long strides. All of these are the result of having an imbalanced scooter. This is quite dangerous as you can even tip over and fall causing injury.
But if you leave the knee platform on too low, you will still have difficulty in taking long strides. This makes you put too much pressure on at least one of your knees. This once again leads to imbalance which can cause an injury.
If you want to know how to adjust the height accurately, you must keep your good foot on the floor. If you can keep it on the ground easily then it’s in the correct position.
Set the correct knee platform orientation
In many cases people complain that they face pain in their good leg when they use the knee scooter. This because the ankle tends hit the scooter frame making it uncomfortable. This happens when you set the knee rest too far away from your good leg.
But to solve this issue there are particular knee scooters with adjustable knee rests. You can move it to the right or left according to the way you want.
Adjust handle bar to the correct height
If the handle bar of your scooter is not adjusted to the correct height, you must hunch to reach it. This causes back and hip pain. And because of this you cannot support yourself in the correct way. And eventually it leads to tiredness.
You must place the handlebars at the same height as your weight. And reaching the handlebars must not be difficult. You must be able to easily reach it in a relaxed approach.
To make this process easier you can purchase a knee scooter in which you can adjust the steering rod. If you are very tall this equipment helps you to adjust it according to the way that you want. So that you can have a comfortable riding experience.
Using knee pad covers
Sometimes when you use a knee walker for a long time it causes pain your resting knee. And humidity and heat only adds up to this discomfort. And some cheap knee scooters do not consist of much cushioning on the knee pad. Because of this it makes your experience uncomfortable.
If you have such a knee scooter with low cushioning keep a towel on the knee rest when using it. or you can also purchase a knee pad cover which is much more effective. When you put a knee pad cover on your seat it gives you extra comfort.
It consists of air which circulates around your leg. This helps to avoid your leg from sticking to the seat. There are various types of knee pad covers which you can choose from. Some of them are comfy cushion, memory foam, and fleece.
Avoid overexerting yourself
Sometimes you begin to feel discomfort only when you overexert yourself. This also happens when you do a long activity using your knee walker. They are options to help you move around but keep in mind not to abuse its abilities.
This includes going on very long walks or standing using the knee walker for a long time. Keep in mind that you have an injured leg. So make sure not to overexert yourself of you want to be able to walk on your own soon. Plenty of rest is very beneficial in the healing process.
However, most knee scooters are designed to provide you the best comfort possible. But if you face discomfort while using the knee scooter make sure to try the above stated methods. The above methods will help you to identify the issue and the necessary action to it.
Even after you follow the above methods and you still feel discomfort it is best that you consult a doctor. Also take advice from your physician before you follow these tips.
Said in short, it is important to know how to use a knee scooters. If you know how to use a knee scooters in the correct way it will help to avoid many dangers as well as injuries. Learning how to use a knee scooter is not a hard task at all. All you have to do is follow the proper instructions.
However, when using a knee scooter you must keep certain things in mind. This includes, the knee rest adjustments, posture, etc. If you begin to face any pains or issues when you use the knee scooter it is best to consult a doctor.
Or if your pain continues try changing your posture, adjust the knee rest and the handlebars. Doing so will make your ride much comfortable. For further comfort you can also try some knee rest paddings that are high in quality. This will help to avoid knee pain when riding.
Also, you must at all cost avoid using the stairs when on the knee scooter. This is quite dangerous and is most likely to cause injuries and further damages. You can use other substitutes as mentioned above in the article.