How to Use a Knee Scooter: 6 Easy Steps with Safety Tips
Knee scooters are a lifesaver for those with walking difficulties. If you fall into this category of people, you surely want to make your life a bit easier and get a high-quality knee scooter.
But you might be eager to know how to make the most of your precious knee scooter. Fret not, we’re here to help! Here is our in-depth guide to using your knee scooter so you feel normal again when living your daily life.
Why Use a Knee Scooter
The primary benefit of knee scooters over regular scooters is that you don’t need your leg to fold. Instead, you can rest your injured foot on a large, comfortable padded seat. They are a great alternative to conventional canes and crutches.
Elderly people with walking difficulties find them useful for easy mobility. They are also equally important to people who have temporarily or permanently disabled foots or ankles.
Your arms take most of your body weight when using crutches although this doesn’t happen with knee scooters.You can perform your daily activities like going to work or shopping comfortably.
How to Use A Knee Scooter?
Step 1: Check the angle of your knee pad and the height of the steering column since this varies from person to person
Step 2: Make sure the hand brakes are locked to prevent the scooter from rolling
Step 3: Place your hands on the handlebars and rest your injured leg on the paddle seat and the unaffected leg on the ground
Step 4: Release the hand brake and use your leg touching the ground to propel yourself forward. Balance and stability should be your main concern in this step
Step 5: Apply your weight on the ground with your unaffected leg when you want to halt. Your scooter will stop gradually, not suddenly
Step 6: Mount/dismount keeping the hand brakes locked to prevent injury or fall
Things You Need to Pay Attention to
1. Body Position
First make yourself comfortable as soon as you put your knee on the scooter. Then place your affected leg, or more specifically, your knee comfortably in the center of the pad at a 90-degree angle and your other leg on the ground.
Ideally, your hips should be paralleled and your unaffected leg stable and straight. Try to keep the wheels on the ground all the time keeping your balance in the center.
2. Handlebar Height
Make sure the height of the handlebar is correctly adjusted in front of you, which should be about the height of your waist. Don’t bend your body over the handlebar or you could end up being injured.
Have a check on the handle lock each time you get on and off from the scooter to ensure it remains stationary. Place your both hands on the handlebar for safe movement.
3. Elbow Height
Keep your elbows at a flexible position. Place your knee on the kneepad and release the adjustment knob to slide the handles up and down. Stand with your unaffected leg in an upright position while holding the handlebar with both of your hands. Your elbows should be in a perfect position when slightly bent.
Don’t lock your elbows; otherwise, you could put stress on your arms, shoulders, and upper back.
4. Knee Wheelchair’s Seat
There could be either a knob or a lever present under the knee pad for height adjustments. You could simply rotate a knob or flip a lever (depending on the model) as per your preference by holding the seat sides firmly.
The lever could also come with a safety pin to fix the seat’s position. If that’s the case, you need to remove the safety pin before adjusting the height. Once done, make sure the lever is tight and fixed.
5. Knee Pad Size and Width
The Knee pad size should be larger, but never smaller for better support of your knees. Its surface also needs to be wider so you don’t have to worry much about keeping your knee on the pad. It should have the capacity to carry 300 lbs of weight.
Before you get your knee walker, you should be aware of the fact that both the size and the width are adjustable. Cheaper versions do not necessarily come with this feature though.
Important Safety Tips
- Check the height of the handlebar and the size and width of the knee pad. Make any adjustments you need. You also need to check the instruction manual
- Make sure the nuts, bolts, and safety pins are fastened securely and no parts are missing
- Don’t move on inclined surfaces, stairs, escalators, or anything that is uneven.
- Slow down when you see a turn or different surfaces (e.g. from road to grass) on your path
- Make sure the brakes are working correctly and the wheels are moving in alignment with your handlebars
- Always check for locked hand brakes when you mount or dismount from the scooter. Use both of your hands while moving
- Never brake the vehicle with your hand brake. Instead, do this with your unaffected leg
- While riding, don’t move too fast because you could suddenly lose your balance. Keeping the walking speed is better for your safety
- Don’t carry any person with you on the scooter
- Don’t drive aggressively and make a nuisance of yourself, especially in public places
We believe that now you know how to use your knee scooter the right way. Don’t forget to try out a few models before your order one. Also, never compromise on the quality to save some bucks because this is directly related to your health and comfort.
Enjoy your ride!
Q. 1: Can you sit on a knee scooter?
Ans: No. You have to support your injured foot or knee on a softer, wider pad with your unaffected foot standing upright onto the ground. You should get the maximum level of comfort in an upright position.
Q. 2: Can you use a knee scooter with a broken fibula?
Ans: Sure you can. It is meant to be used for injuries on the lower extremities of the foot (below the knees). Fibulas are located below the knee so you can easily rest your knee on the pad.
Q. 3: Can I use a knee walker on the stairs?
Ans: No, you cannot use a knee walker on climbing stairs and escalators because the wheels don’t move in exact alignments with your handlebar. You also need to take care of the changing surfaces like from floor to carpet or from road to sidewalks for controlling your balance.
Q. 4: How soon after ankle surgery can I use a knee scooter?
Ans: You should make a follow-up visit after 1-2 weeks after your ankle surgery. Your doctor will confirm if you will really need one. You should not use it without the instruction of a registered doctor.