Knee Walkers Ireland - The Ultimate Guide
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So you've been told you will need to stay off your foot or ankle for a long period of time. This can be due to surgery or injury. If you have used crutches you might know how difficult they can be to use and the limits they put on your life while in recovery. Don't be stuck with crutches. There is an alternative for you. Perhaps your doctor or surgeon suggested a knee walker or a knee scooter. You've searched online and are left with even more questions.
This article will outline what a knee walker is, the features to consider and services to consider with the supplier.
What is a Knee Walker
A Knee Walker is a four wheeled cart-like device that completely unloads (takes weight off) the user's lower limb as they bear weight on their knee. It is also commonly referred to as a knee scooter or knee walker.
Features to Consider:
While all knee walkers are similar in basic function there are important design features that directly impact safety, comfort and mobility.
Does it turn? The original model did require the user to lift the front to move left or right. Not only did this take strength, but balance which can often be compromised due to medications (i.e. painkillers). Newer types turn like a bicycle to improve the safety and making it easier to use. Beware of models that use caster like wheels similar to those found on a shopping trolley as these can unexpectedly move sideways, causing your legs to split apart and maybe even fall.
How big are the wheels? The bigger the wheels, the easier it will be to move through carpet or over uneven surfaces like cracks in the footpaths or the saddle of a doorway. Small wheels can stop sharply when they encounter a crack or obstacle. Large off road tyres are also available in the market but are rarely used as they are intended for rough terrain. The ideal size is eight-inch wheels (8").
How stable is the knee walker? Safety is important in any product. Stability comes from both the width of the unit and the offset of the knee platform. The more expensive models allow the knee pad to be offset towards your good leg. Not only does this allow more of the knee walker to support your injured leg, it also keeps your pushing leg from kicking the knee walker or trapping your trousers in it! Width can be judged by the separation of the front wheels, although wider is not always better.
How adjustable and comfortable is the knee pad? Your needs can differ as your cast or dressing is adjusted, so it is important to look for a knee walker with an adjustable knee pad. Normally knee walkers come with a durable and foamy type material for comfort. Normally, standard knee pads are height adjustable but there are other types which provide a way of off-setting the knee pad.
Does it fold down for easy storage? Most knee walkers will fold for easy storage and transportation. They can be put in the boot of a car or on an air plane. Beware the of very large units that are too big for the car. A tip for extra space when transporting is to remove the knee pad which should make it more compact. But rarely this is needed.
Do I need tools to assemble? Make sure that the knee walker can be adjusted without tools. Amazingly enough, some models, especially older units require spanners and allen keys to adjust.
What accessories are included? Think of what you might need: a purse, phone, book, lunch, laundry, etc. Some knee walkers offer small black bags while others provide large removable baskets. Both could be helpful to free your hands while moving, but the removable basket has proven to be more useful and versatile.
Services to Consider
Now that you know what to look for in the knee walker, consider the supplier as both price and service can vary greatly.
Rent or Buy - If you only require the unit a short time, renting might be an option. Rental prices range from €18.95 a week to €75 for a month. Deposits can be very costly, up to the full purchase price of the knee scooter. Look for suppliers that don't charge a deposit. Purchase price of a new unit ranges from €290 to €450. If purchasing makes sense, you might consider a used or refurbished unit. Make sure it is safe and meets all the manufacturer's specifications.
Delivery and Returns - You could try find a local supplier with knee walkers in stock. Styles, price, quality and service vary differently between suppliers. Some shops will deliver to your home or hospital for a certain fee. An increasingly attractive choice is ordering these online and having the knee walker shipped directly to your home, office or hospital. Look for suppliers that offer shipping options as some will require you to call in. Once recovery is complete, the knee walker can be easily returned via GLS Couriers. Having your knee walker shipped directly to you is especially convenient if you are already injured, can't drive, live in a rural area, have a busy schedule or other limitations.
Satisfaction Guarantee - Make sure you are eligible to return any knee walker you rent or buy if it doesn't fit your requirements. Be cautious of suppliers that don't even allow you to test it outside or offer less than a three day trial period.
Customer Services - When using your knee walker and you have a question or a need (which you definitely will), who will you call? Working with an expert company that specializes in crutch alternatives should ensure an improved experience offering knowledgeable staff available to answer any questions and give advice.
In summary, look for these for an ideal recovery:
- 8" Wheels
- No Deposit
- Padded / Foam Knee Pad
- Adjustable Knee Pads
- Cheap Shipping
- Folds For Transportation and Storage
- Satisfaction Guarantee
- Tool Free Adjustment
- Top Customer Service
- Crutch Alternative Specialist
- No Question Returns Policy
Recovering from an injury or any surgery can be a very testing time with plenty of unexpected challenges. Choosing a knee walker that helps you stay off your foot or ankle may help you recover more quickly. Choosing the knee walker that best fits your individual needs from the supplier that looks after you the best will allow you to maintain your active life and your lifestyle.