Crutches are medical tools used when a patient is injured usually anywhere below the waist. The word crutch can also refer to anything used by a person for psychological or emotional support, or to something used as an excuse not to engage in normal life activities.
There are several different types of medical crutches: Forearm : Forearm crutches are the type most commonly used in Europe
, but in the United States
are almost exclusively used by people with permanent disabilities
. However, American orthopaedic surgeons are now beginning to prescribe forearm crutches for patients with shorter-term needs. Forearm crutches are used by slipping the arm into a cuff and holding the grip. The cuff, typically made of plastic or metal, can be a half-circle or a full circle with a V-type opening in the front allowing the forearm to slip out in case of a fall.
, a French mechanical engineer, patented a walking stick (US patent number 1244249, filed Oct. 23, 1917) that provided an oblique support at the upper end for resting the forearm. This invention was first patented in France on May 7, 1915.
patented a similar-looking cane crutch (US Patent 2192766).
Finally, the invention of A. R. Lofstrand, Jr.
, who filed a patent in 1945, consists of an adjustable-length crutch. In the US, forearm crutches are also sometimes referred to as Lofstrands
, Canadian crutches
(since they are commonly used in Canada), elbow crutches
or even Walk Easies
(Walk Easy is a brand name). Underarm : These are the most common type in the United States
, and are used most often by people with temporary disability
. These are used by placing the pads against the rib cage beneath the armpits and holding the grip, which is below and parallel to the pad. These are sometimes known as axillary crutches
. Strutters : These are a variation on under-arm crutches, incorporating large soles which remain flat on the floor or ground while the user walks. They allow for an improved walking gait, and distribute body weight to reduce the risk of nerve damage caused by underarm crutches. Platform : These are less common and used by those with poor hand grip due to arthritis
, cerebral palsy
, or other condition. The arm rests on a horizontal platform and is strapped in place. The hand rests on a grip which, if properly designed, can be angled appropriately depending on the user's physical handicap. Knee Support : These crutches are useful for patients whose injury or disability is below the knee. They allow the knee of the injured leg to be placed on a support, so the injured leg now points backward behind the patient. This style of crutch affords the patient the ability to have one or both hands free to carry objects. Upper thigh atrophy
is also reduced because lhalf the patients weight is now supported by each thigh rather than one thigh and the arms. An example of a unique state-of-the-art knee crutch is the "Orthopedic Knee Crutch."
Information on use
Several different gait
patterns are possible, and the user chooses which one to use depending on the reason the crutches are needed. For example, a person with a leg
injury generally performs a "swing-to" gait: lifting the injured leg, the patient places both crutches in front of himself, and then swings his uninjured leg to meet the crutches. Other gaits are used when both legs are equally affected by some disability, or when the injured leg is partially weight bearing
.Sometimes a towel or some kind of soft cover is needed for underarm crutches to prevent under arm injury
Malaysian Malay 'Crutches'
'Crutch' or 'Crutches' is a sensitive term in Malaysia
to refer to the Malaysian New Economic Policy
(NEP) which was a program created by the government to help the needy Malays.
The Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi said that the government will continue to uphold the spirit of the Malaysian New Economic Policy (NEP) in implementing economic development in the country and saying that this was crucial as the objectives of the NEP had not been fully achieved and its spirit must be restored in a different framework and approach to achieve the aspirations of the policy. He called on the Malays to cease being a race dependant on assistance but to strive to become a race who instead extends assistance. "Let's not use the crutches (referring to NEP) for support all the time, the knee will become weak. No, should not, must not ... we must have the strength..." .
Former Prime Minister of Malaysia Dr Mahathir Mohamad said: "Today the Malays can lean on the crutches of Malay privileges to protect them. But crutches invariably weaken the users. To be strong and to be able to fend for themselves, the crutches must be discarded. Unfortunately, their view is that their crutches are symbols of their superior status in the country. The sad thing is that they are not even using the crutches properly. As a result, they gain nothing or very little from the availability of these aids,"
NEP for the southern Thailand Muslims
The chief minister of Malaysia's Kelantan
State also PAS (Islamic Party of Malaysia
) spiritual leader Nik Aziz
said that Thailand
should consider introducing an affirmative action
policy like Malaysia's to narrow the social and economic gap between the Muslims
and non-Muslims and to put a plug to the surging violence in southern Thailand.
The Thai government can emulate this theory because it can narrow the economic gap among the races
- Metal alloys (most often Steel, Aluminium alloys, Titanium alloys)
- Carbon or glass fiber reinforced composites