Medical Questions > Conditions and Diseases > Broken Bones Forum

Broken foot bone--what I can use in place of crutches?

What do you prefer when you're non-weight-bearing?
Freedom Leg/strap-on peg leg-type crutch
Crutches (underarm)
Crutches (forearm)
Knee scooter
Wheel chair
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Total Votes : 3
Hi everyone. I'm new to the forums. I wanted to start a thread about my recently broken foot and the struggles I've gone through with it...See if anyone can give me advice, maybe help me in not getting anymore depressed.
So my story begins when I go camping up in Utah with my boyfriend. It's a decent road trip, I take my two dogs and we're gone for about a week and a half.
The second to last day of the trip, I decided to drive an atv to hunt for my water bottle that I lost earlier that day. I ended up somehow crashing the atv, and it fell sideways, ontop of my foot. I broke a weird bone and didn't know it (it wasn't very swollen or anything). I was sort of in the middle of the no where when it happened, and I live in New Mexico. This happened on August 6th... Luckily my boyfriend was with me and he got me back to the campsite. I hobbled around off of it the rest of the day, sitting down the rest of the trip except for when I was going to the tent or the bathroom. It was terrible. :/ Then after a few days, it felt normal (still hurt really bad). So after the boyfriend drives home and we keep going between "I think it's broken, babe" and "I don't think it's broken. It doesn't feel broken." So after I was on it for a week and a half because my job wouldn't work with me, I finally got an x-ray and found out my foot is fractured. It took me three days before we could find someone qualified to put a cast on. I kept the cast on for two weeks, trying not to put weight on it but that was hard because they didn't give me crutches.
The doctor told me that I could get crutches for fifteen dollars. I drove across town, only to find out that not only did they not have my size, they were 65$ or so. I went on craigslist that night and ended up with forearm crutches for $15 bucks. I have little to no upper-body strength, so these crutches are really hard to use. I work as a Cashier, so I'm on my feet most of the day. They have let me use a stool (which does about nothing) and I have to stand to scan most of the items. My customers don't give a flying squirrel about my broken foot and will make me lift heavy cases of water and soda in and out of their cart. Because Heaven Forbid they actually put out an effort to shop. I end up being the only cashier for the entire store...which is fantastic, because then I have to walk about four yards to call for a price check, and have to go back to the phone if they don't want to come up to the front of the register. If I use my crutches my customers get irritated because it takes forever(not that I care).

I went to the doctor today and was told I'm putting too much pressure on my foot, and that 'if I want to walk on it again, I need surgery.' Here's my problem. I have no insurance. I work a part-time job. They will not give me a full-time position for the job because the company doesn't have that option, so I don't have any benefits and the insurance I can buy myself isn't worth it...I know that I don't need the surgery, I just need to stay off of my foot for however long...but my doctor said that he's leaving to another state and recommended me another place to get more help with my foot.

I don't know what to do...In a month and a half I'm going to my normal doctor to see if she'll give me pain killers (they never tried prescribing me anything)and to get xrays. Until then, I wanted to know what I can use in place of crutches. I'm about 5'3" and 112 pounds...Has anyone used a knee scooter, freedom leg, or anything other than crutches? I'll be living upstairs in an apartment for three or more months and my register station is too small for a wheel chair.

Sorry for the rant, I needed to vent somewhere other than facebook...
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replied September 26th, 2012
Especially eHealthy
TwistedHarls,

You do not state exactly what your fracture is. But, if it is close to the great toe, I am assuming it is the first metatarsal. Unfortunately, the first metatarsal is very important to the architecture of the longitudinal arch, as well as the overall foot.

Fractures in the shaft often angulate and if they are left to heal that way, they cause significant problems with pain when the patient tries to ambulate, as the metatarsal head is now too prominent on the ball of the foot. If the fracture is at the metatarsal-tarsal joint (MTTJ), then it may be a LisFranc fracture. These fractures are intra-articular and if not reduced anatomically often lead to severe degenerative changes.

While it is sometimes possible to treat these fractures with plaster casting, usually surgery is recommended for the best results.


As to what ambulatory device is the best, that is up to the patient. For those patients who do not have a lot a cardiovascular fitness or upper body strength, a knee scooter/knee walker may be the best. But, these start at about two hundred dollars, though you might be able to get a used one off the internet for less.

I preferred the Lofstand crutches (also called forearm crutches), as I find that I am able to maneuver around the easiest, especially in tight places. They are not very big, so I can get just about anyplace I need to. As to the upper body strength, it was built up very quickly.

But, again, you have to do what you want.


As to following up with your primary care physician, that is probably a good idea to get an x-ray to see how things are going. But, good luck on getting any pain medication above NSAIDs, when you are two months out from injury. You may get a few tablets of an opioid medication, but there has been a recent push on physicians to decrease the use of opioids. Give it a try, it can’t hurt to ask.

Wishing you the best. Good luck.
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replied October 13th, 2012


The knee scooter is great. Keeps the weight off your foot so you can heal. Great customer service too!
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replied November 15th, 2012
I totally understand where you are coming from. I just broke my 5th metatarsal a few days ago and I am finding it extremely hard to adjust to the non weight bearing life. I currently hate my crutches and I get frustrated simply walking to the bathroom or kitchen because of how long it takes me. I am using underarm crutches, and they are quite a workout. My upperbody is sore already. I guess I'll get used to them, and seeing as how I do not have health insurance either, I don't really have much of a choice. I am a college student and trying to get to class on crutches is miserable. Not only is it exhausting and takes forever, but I broke my right foot so I can't drive and have to try and find someone available to drive me to and from class. I really want a knee scooter, but I can't afford it. However, if you don't like the forearm crutches, I can't imagine that you would enjoy the underarm crutches.
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replied November 15th, 2012
Especially eHealthy
Jamieb24,

Call around, you might be able to find some place that rents the scooters, at pretty reasonable rates. You may not need one for too long.

As I posted to your other message, you might be able to go to a weight bearing status pretty soon. So, you may not be on crutches for very long.

But, look at the bright side of crutches, at least you build up your upper body strength. I was on crutches (nonweight bearing for a knee problem) for over two years. I used the Lofstand (forearm) crutches, because I could get around and through tight spaces easier with them. But, it does take a tab bit of athletic ability.


Hang in there. This too shall pass.

Good luck.
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replied August 18th, 2014
Forearm crutches are best. Crutches with latest technology helps fast recovering from an injury, surgery or any other disability with a comfortable design.
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