NCLEX Memory Hints: Crutches

NCLEX Memory Hints: Crutches

Crutches are frequently dispensed in the outpatient setting and education is important for patient safety and to prevent complications. 

The height of the crutches should measure 2-3 finger widths below the anterior axillary fold to avoid brachial plexus injury and causing weakness of the forearm. 

The handgrip should be placed to allow the angle of elbow flexion to be 30 degrees to avoid nerve injury and the hand will be numb. 

 Patients should place the crutches 6-10 inches in front and to the side of the patient’s toes, depending on body size, to provide a wide base of support. 

If patients will need to climb stairs, education should include going up the stairs and going down. 

To go up, good leg first, bad leg and crutches follow. 

To go down, bad leg and crutches first, good leg follows. 

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