Technical Notes: Crutch Grip Modification
Donald D. Strand, C.P.O. *
One year ago we had occasion to fit a 29-year-old female below-knee amputee who had severe limitation of both hands and her left elbow secondary to third degree bums. Both legs were also burned and a left BK amputation was eventually performed. The right foot was left deformed and stiff. Because both lower limbs were involved, it was essential that she use axillary crutches for an extended period during fitting and rehabilitation.
Inability to close her hands around the crutch hand grips presented a problem. Fig. 1 shows her fingers in maximum extension. Maximum grip is shown in Fig. 2.
To provide a comfortable and stable grip, Plastazote sheeting 3/4-in. thick was heated in 310 deg. F. and then quickly pressed around the grips and molded by the affected hands and fingers while the patient was standing and bearing weight. The application and results are shown in Fig. 3. The difference in height of the crutch grips was necessary because of the contracture of the left elbow.
The subject using the modified crutches, which proved to be both comfortable and functional, is shown in Fig. 4.