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Heather Mills - Amputee Forum
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Long-term side-effects of using crutches

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Hi guys,

I have been using a prosthesis plus crutches for 16 years now.

For 10 years at least I have been experiencing a 'furry' sensation or numbness

in the fingertips of my left hand.

The intensity varies, but I have great difficulty finding the buttonholes and

buttoning up my shirt, the right sleeve usually being hopeless.

Do you have similar problems?

Take care!

God Bless!

Mike RHD

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I only use crutches when I can't wear my leg and i try to avoid that as much as possible. When ever I have to use them for what i think is a long period of time( 1 week to 1 or 2 months) I find my upper arms really hurt. There are some days i can't lift my arms over my head they ache so much.

I also find my hands feel sprained or get numb, I can't stand crutches.

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P.S. The power of my left hand grip seems to be diminished, too.

BUT both arms and shoulders are definitely well exercised and strong.

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As an amputee soccer player, I can confirm over usage of crutches does course over wear of the shoulders, I think like many things if you push it to hard it's going to break!

PJ :D

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I use forearm crutches everyday. I've managed to reduce the wear & tear on my arms and shoulders by only using soft anatomic style hand grips.

Lizzie :)

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I was going to write on this very subject today. I was wondering what type of crutches everyone prefers? I’ve been using underarm crutches for the last eleven months. I’ve made a few modifications to help relieve wrist pain by drilling an extra hole in-between the holes provided and angling the hand grip down so that my wrist is at a more ergonomic angle. It has helped relieve stress and pain. I also added a bicycle water bottle cage and mini bungie cords to hold pop and other items. I thought about a bell but my wife thought it was a stupid idea. She's right. Rear view mirrors?

It sounds like a lot of you are suffering carpal tunnel syndrome. I went to three different medical supply houses today to look at forearm crutches but was dissatisfied with my options. The hand grips could not be adjusted and the were made of hard plastic. The forearm cuff was too tight on one and I didn’t like the open or no cuff design. Am I just use to my underarm crutch and need time to get use to the forearm type?

What kind of crutch do you all prefer? Why?

mtman

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Mike does your whole hand get tingly and numb or just part of it?

Your compressing the Brachial Plexus, or part of it, the system of nerves that go down your arm.

Try the forearm crutches that Lizzie uses.

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Mike does your whole hand get tingly and numb or just part of it?

Your compressing the Brachial Plexus, or part of it, the system of nerves that go down your arm.

Try the forearm crutches that Lizzie uses.

That's a good idea, Cat, but I think most people with HD & HP prefer to use axillae crutches, as they give them more stability. However, I may be wrong...? :wub:

Lizzie :)

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Alternate Lizzie?

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I use forearm crutches if i do not have my leg on, usually first thing in the morning or night, and i use 2 canes for walking when i have my leg on. (I am an AKA).

I had chemotherapy xmas 2004 and since then i have had sore hands (on the backs) because my veins colapsed with the chemicals. I find i get sore hands when i use the sticks or crutches after a long period, on the backs but i also get numbness/ pins and needles, so i am not sure if the pain is all from the sticks/crutches or the chemotherapy.

Love Yvonne

:wub:

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That's a good idea, Cat, but I think most people with HD & HP prefer to use axillae crutches, as they give them more stability. However, I may be wrong...? :wub:

Lizzie :)

I have never been comfortable with the forearm crutches, without my prosthesis on. Like you said, I don't feel as secure. With the full crutches, I can climb steps, up and down without any problem, or go anywhere. The only thing I can't do is walk with them in the complete dark. I go inch by inch, not being secure of the balance if I can't see.

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Hi everyone.

I dunno about what crutches people use but since my amputation and NON use of crutches I have really bad upper body strength. I was always fit in the upper body and being a nurse, then being on crutches for five years.

Any ideas on what I can do to get it back. No gym as the last time I went some spotty faced teenagers took the 'michael' out of me.

Rachel :wub:

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...but since my amputation and NON use of crutches I have really bad upper body strength. I was always fit in the upper body and being a nurse, then being on crutches for five years.

Any ideas on what I can do to get it back. No gym as the last time I went some spotty faced teenagers took the 'michael' out of me.

It's a pain that our upper bodies are no longer designed to be weight-bearing, isn't it? I use mine for practically all transfers, walking, wheelchair...etc. I've found that swimming helps a lot, as it's a gentle, non impact, way to build up upper body strength.

Lizzie :)

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Hi Mike,

I used crutches for 6 months after my amputation all the time before I got my leg and after a couple of months got exactly the numb feeling in my hands that you are describing. I was worried about it and so went to the doctor. She looked at a map of the nerves in the hands and told me what I think Mel is saying above. Basically the handles on the crutches were pressing into my hands in such a way as to make my fingers numb.

This stopped when I stopped using crutches so much. Maybe you could try to find different handles - ones that don't put pressure on those particular parts of your hands so much....

x x x

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...but since my amputation and NON use of crutches I have really bad upper body strength. I was always fit in the upper body and being a nurse, then being on crutches for five years.

Any ideas on what I can do to get it back. No gym as the last time I went some spotty faced teenagers took the 'michael' out of me.

It's a pain that our upper bodies are no longer designed to be weight-bearing, isn't it? I use mine for practically all transfers, walking, wheelchair...etc. I've found that swimming helps a lot, as it's a gentle, non impact, way to build up upper body strength.

Lizzie :)

well, another way to build up some usefull muscles is, playing wheelchair basketball. i haven´t known before, what muscles can hurt in the upper area :D

in younger years i only had this body strengh, when i was sailing this 470 dingis or made some judo.

ciao thomas

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Hi

I feel like I am a pro at wearing crutches, because I had many surgeries, and I just dont like them...now ever since I got my leg I have been walking ever since, so I can not mention the feeling of numbness, but I do stay away from crutches.

Lesley

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I feel like I am a pro at wearing crutches, because I had many surgeries, and I just dont like them...now ever since I got my leg I have been walking ever since, so I can not mention the feeling of numbness, but I do stay away from crutches.

I know exactly how you feel, Lesley, as I can't stand crutches either...but, some of us don't have a choice about using them. I was stunned (for several months) when I was told I had to use them all the time...:( I hated the idea of having to use yet another piece of equipment and I loathed people in the street seeing the crutches and feeling sorry for me! :rolleyes:

Anyway, after I got over the 'shock', I decided to make a feature of them...and I now have various pairs in different colours, to match my outfits. The funny thing is that now I'm not using grey crutches, people no longer come up to me in the street to tell me how sorry they feel for me...instead they ask me about the crutches as they look so good! B)

Lizzie :)

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Hi guys,

thanks a lot for your kind advice.

Sorry for not being able to reply sooner.

In my thread "Any HPs/HDs out there?" (Prosthetics section) I have explained why I had

to revert to walking with two crutches (instead of one).

I have always used forearm-crutches. The other, underarm variety has practically gone out of use

in Germany.

Might be this "carpal tunnel syndrome"? Have refrained from surgery, as it would render me

completely immobile for several weeks.

Take care!

Mike

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Well, you could have told us you were using unterarmgehhilfen, Mike! :)

Are you using the anatomic handles on your crutches? I find them much easier on the wrists than the conventional type of handle.

If you're looking for another design of crutch, try this site.

Lizzie :)

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Hi Lizzie,

actually I have been using the light, coloured crutches for quite a while now.

Actually the German word for crutch = Krücke is no longer PC. Bloody nonsense!

[Just like the old word 'Krüppel' = cripple].

So 'Krücken' have become 'Gehhilfen' = 'walking aids'.

But I believe the coloured versions do not come with the anatomic handles.

I still have my first pair of heavy grey crutches with anatomic handles for 'heavy duty'.

Fortunately the intensity of my complaints varies, and the numbness has not increased

over the years.

Love,

Mike RHD

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But I believe the coloured versions do not come with the anatomic handles.

I'm afraid you're wrong there, Mike. :rolleyes: Take a look at the anatomic handles link I put in my last post and scroll down to the bottom of the page - you'll find a section where you can select the color of your plastic and metal crutch parts.

Lizzie :)

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