There are a lot of people who need mobility aids. That is why an individual who finds herself or himself in that situation has a lot of options depending on the condition from which they suffer. Apart from walkers, crutches, and rollators, people who have trouble moving around can use a knee scooter. It may seem unusual at first, and people who try it do not get the hang of it on the first try, but after you get used to it, the knee walker will improve your life considerably.
What is a knee scooter?
A knee scooter is also known as a knee walker. It got its name from its resemblance with the scooter we used to play with when we were kids. It is a piece of medical equipment that is an excellent alternative to crutches. It has a four-wheel design, but some models have only three. To use it, all you have to do is place the injured knee on the pad and use the healthy leg to push it forward. Over the years, the knee walker has suffered considerable improvement from comfort to maneuverability. If you do some research, you can find all kinds of models that have useful features. Not to mention that they are lightweight (made of galvanized steel or aluminum,) foldable and very easy to transport.
When can you use a knee scooter?
As you can imagine, you cannot use a knee walker in all circumstances, and the sure thing is that you can use it only when your injury is located in your lower leg. Since using such a device requires you to bend the knee, it makes sense. Here is a list of most common injuries that allow you the use of a knee scooter:
- Any ankle injury
- Fractured ankle
- Lower leg sprains
- Ankle surgery
- Fractured foot
- Foot surgery
- Achilles injuries
Just as there are cases when you can use the knee scooter, there are instances when it is not recommended. Noy only that, but in some cases, you cannot even use it if you wanted because you cannot bend the knee. Here are the most common examples:
- When you suffer an injury, and your leg is in a cast above the knee. Logically, you cannot bend the knee to a 90º angle.
- When you have balance issues, no matter if the injury is in your lower leg.
- You have both your legs injured.
- You do not have the required strength to push the scooter forward.
Knee scooter vs. crutches
As I mentioned above, a knee walker is an excellent alternative to crutches. When you injure your foot or your lower leg, there is usually a cast involved or an orthosis. That means you need to use crutches so that you can move. However, the knee scooter will make moving around easier. Here is why:
- Using crutches means that you have to put your entire weight on your forearms or underarms. If you have been on crutches before, then you know it is not the most comfortable solution. However, when you use a knee walker, your weight will be supported by your shin. The shin, known as a tibia, is the strongest bone in the human body, which means that it has the capability of supporting your weight. I am not sure if you are aware, but using crutches for an extended period of time can severely damage your intercostobrachial nerve, a nerve that is located under your arms. You will not have that problem with a knee scooter.
- You will be faster with a knee walker. You can get to work or wherever you want to go. I think you can imagine how that is possible.
- You no longer have to suffer from underarm pain. That is a standard issue with crutches, and by eliminating them, you reduce the risk of injuring yourself. Not to mention that your blood circulation will be normal.
- You have more stability with a knee scooter. You can easily fall if you lose your balance on crutches. A knee walker has four wheels, so the chances of falling an re-injuring yourself are slim to none.
How to choose the best knee scooter?
There are various available models, but you cannot go for the first one you see. There are a few criteria that you need to keep in mind before making a purchase. Some aspects are left to choice, but there are a few that you need to consider carefully. Here is what I am talking about.
- Weight capacity – not all knee scooters can withstand the same amount of weight, which is why you need to look at the specifications and choose the knee walker that can support your weight. Most products can handle a weigh up to 300 pounds, but if you weigh more than that, make sure to find the right device for you.
- Height – people have different heights, and those who are on the extremes suffer the most. If you are taller than normal, or you are a very short person, make sure that the knee scooter can be adjusted according to your height. Otherwise, you may have problems in using the product you buy, and you may end up sending it back. Again, pay attention to the specifications. They should say how low or how high the handlebars and the seat can go.
- Steering – steering is more than useful, especially if you plan to use the scooter around the house. A steerable knee walker comes in handy everywhere you may go, even outside.
- Outdoor use – you should keep in mind that most knee walkers are designed to be used inside the house. If you need to get to work, make sure that the model you purchase can handle the outdoors. It will be easier to go outside the house, and you will get anywhere faster than with crutches.
- Brakes – a knee walker without brakes is not worth the investment. It is a scooter, after all, and using your healthy leg to stop or to slow down is not the best option you have. You can find knee scooters with a single brake or with two brakes. Although a single brake is enough, I would recommend double brakes. If you go downhill, for example, one brake can be dangerous to use.
What are the best knee scooters?
As I said before, there are various models from different brands that you can find online. If you have no idea what you are doing or if you need some help, below you will find three excellent suggestions that will satisfy your needs.
KneeRover Economy Knee Scooter
The KneeRover is an excellent alternative to crutches. It is also an affordable solution for those who suffer from a broken foot, broken ankle or for people who recover from surgery below the knee. It is a comfortable knee walker that will make your life a little bit easier for as long as you need. It is built to withstand almost any surface, and you can use it both indoors and outdoors.
This knee scooter has four wheels and is very easy to steer. It has incredible balance, it is easy to control and has excellent stability. The 7.5-inch wheels and the adjustable locking brakes will give you a sense of control. The brakes are both on front and back wheels. As far as comfort is concerned, the KneeRover comes with a padded knee platform so that your injured leg would not feel any pain, and the handles provide fantastic grip.
The knee walker is also durable, but lightweight. It weighs only 21 pounds, but it can provide support if you weigh up to 300 pounds. It is effortless to use. If your height is between 4´6ʺ and 6´6ʺ, then this model is ideal for you. That means both adults and children can use it. The product’s adjustability makes it one of the most popular knee walkers in this price range. Once you are done using the KneeRover, you can easily fold it. It is easy to transport and does not require much storage space. Click here to read more reviews and buy on Amazon.
Drive Medical DV8 Aluminum Steerable Knee Walker
Drive Medical manufactures all kinds of mobility aids, and knee scooters are among them. You can purchase one of the most affordable solutions if you have issues with one of your legs. This model will provide the support you need, and you will not feel as uncomfortable as with crutches.
The DV8 model is steerable, just as the title suggests, and it is very comfortable at the same time. One of the things you will love the most at this knee scooter is the knee platform. Not only that it is padded, but it also has a channel for maximum comfort. The channel also ensures that your leg will not slip off the platform. The four 8-inch wheels are suited for both indoor use and outdoors. The dual-brake system provides control and safety. The push-down locking mechanism will keep you safe when you ‘park.’
The knee scooter from Drive medical is made of aluminum, which means it is lightweight. It weighs only 19 pounds. However, that means it cannot provide the support you need. It can hold a person who weighs up to 300 pounds. This model is also foldable. You can fold down the steering column when you do not need it, which makes it easy to put in the trunk of your car. Storage is also a non-issue. Click here to read more reviews and buy on Amazon.
BodyMed Folding Knee Walker
The knee scooter from BodyMed is not very different from the two models described above. It is ideal for people who suffer from fractures or other injuries. Just like the other models, this one is a perfect alternative to crutches or canes. It requires less effort to use, and let’s not forget about comfort. You will no longer suffer from underarm pain, and your forearms will cease to get tired from walking. That usually happens from extended use.
The BodyMed knee scooter has a dual brake system that will keep you safe at all times. The wheels are designed for both indoors and outdoors. They provide excellent stability on almost any surface, and the wheels do not leave a mark on tiles. This model is also fully adjustable. Both the handlebar and the knee platform can be adjusted according to your height, and the brakes can be tightened or loosened depending on your needs. As a bonus, you will also receive a basket that you can install in front of the scooter. You can keep various items in it and even do some light shopping.
Just like the other models, the BodyMed knee walker is extremely durable. It is true that it weighs more, it weighs 29 pounds, but that does not mean it is hard to use. It has a weight capacity of 300 lbs. The point is that the knee scooter from BodyMed will provide the support you need during your weeks of recovery. Click here to read more reviews and buy on Amazon.
If I were you, I would go with the Drive Medical DV8 Aluminum Steerable Knee Walker. I like everything about it, especially the channel that supports the injured leg. I think that this is one of the best knee scooters you can find. It is reliable, durable, and very comfortable. What is there not to like?
You have to admit that a knee scooter sounds and feels better than a pair of crutches. It is easier to use, it provides the help you need, and you might even have some fun while at it. It is a scooter, after all. I highly recommend one over crutches. If you like, you can purchase one of the models above. They are everything you need, and whichever you choose, you will not regret your decision. Click here to buy on Amazon