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Leaflet: Using crutches

Information on using crutches in different positons


Place the crutches into the ‘H’ position. Then place one hand onto both handles and the other onto the arm of the chair and stand up. Once standing, place each hand through the cuffs of the crutches and hold the handles (handles face forward).

For stability in standing, each crutch should be slightly in front and out to the side of your feet.


Take each arm out of the crutches and place them in the ‘H’ position and hold with one hand. Once you feel balanced, reach back for the arm of the chair with your free hand.

In a slow and controlled manner, lower yourself into a sitting position.


For non-weight bearing:

Keeping the affected leg off the ground and taking weight through the good leg, place the crutches one step ahead, level with each other.

Move forwards between the crutches, swinging the good leg to land level with the crutches.

For partial weight bearing:

Taking some weight through the bad leg, place the crutches one step ahead, level with each other.

Place the bad leg on the ground, just before the crutches. Step through with the unaffected leg.


Where possible use a handrail and hold both crutches in the same hand or give the spare crutch to someone else.

Going up

  1. Unaffected leg.
  2. Affected leg.
  3. Crutch.

Going down

  1. Crutch.
  2. Affected leg.
  3. Unaffected leg.

Please return all crutches to the MIU when they are no longer needed. Remember – you needed them and someone else will too. Please check with your insurance company to ensure you are covered to drive.

Visit the Minor Injuries Unit webpage for more information about this service.

This leaflet can be provided in other formats and languages, please contact us for more information.

Date of creation: July 2021
Date of review: July 2023
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