Alternatives To Crutches: Stay Mobile After Knee Surgery

alternatives to crutches

Although kids often get excited about the idea of crutches, once you're on them you'll figure out that they're not as much fun as they look!

Many will experience sore muscles as a result or even chafing of the skin and blisters that can become quite painful.

Don’t go without the tools you need to remain non-weight bearing.

There are plenty of alternatives to crutches that will offer you relief and keep you enjoying the life you live.

Read through this handy guide to find my pick for the best alternatives to crutches.

Why Consider Alternatives to Using Crutches?

Let's face it, crutches have novelty value for about a day, especially when you've never used them before, but you quickly realise that they really aren't that practical, especially for long term use. 

Crutches can give you terrible blisters on your hands, and will often chafe the skin around your forearms or under your arms, depending on the type of crutch you're using. 

They also make your shoulder muscles ache. Think about it, you're suddenly putting your entire weight on your upper body. It's not used to that kind of strain, and your muscles will definitely complain about it! 

Aside from the pain, it's hard to actually go anywhere or get anything done on crutches.

You need both hands to move around, which means it's hard to carry anything or pay for anything. Even the simplest everyday task becomes a performance.

If it's just a matter of days, you can probably cope with crutches. If you'll need help with mobility for any period of time, however, do yourself a favour and go with an alternative.  

What Are My Options Instead of Crutches?

There are tons of options when you're researching alternatives to crutches after knee surgery.

However, you need to be careful because although they're all great for certain people, not all of the alternatives available will be right for you.

For example, bearing weight and attempting to walk is, of course, an option, and you have the right to do that, as long as your doctor or healthcare professional doesn't forbid it. 

Avoid more pain and choose a different route to make your life easier and more comfortable.

Peg Leg Crutch

The hands-free crutch, which resembles a peg leg, is the best option for a lot of people. It's practical, and let's you live life as normally as possible, despite your injury!

They attach to your thigh and then you rest your knee on the pad, and then you walk as you would normally. 

This can make the recovery process much less frustrating and mean you aren't reliant on others to help you get around and do things. 

It's a great option, however, for those who were generally fit, healthy, and highly mobile before the injury. 

However, these won't be for everyone. This option requires skill and a lot of getting used to, and isn’t always the best for people who struggle with mobility issues.

Knee or Seated Scooters

A much better option as an alternative to crutches for knee injury  for someone who wasn't particularly mobile beforehand would be to look at quality knee or seated scooters.

These will roll across the ground while you either rest the injured leg on the pad or while you sit comfortably. They have handles, similar to a bicycle, that allow you to guide them.

Models on the market today come with great options such as baskets, and make moving around a breeze.

These are great for those who don't want to put strain on their arms, as they would using crutches, and lack the balance and agility needed for a peg leg crutch. 

With all that in mind, we're going to review the best knee walker and hands-free crutch out there, to help you decide which will be the best choice for you!

Best Alternatives to Crutches Reviewed

Drive Medical Steerable Knee Walker

Drive Medical DV8 Aluminum Steerable Knee Walker

If you’re suffering from breaks, sprains, amputation or even just need alternatives to crutches after foot surgery, this is a great option.

This knee walker is fully capable of being steered to provide maximum maneuverability.

If you live an active lifestyle, this model even has a steering column which folds for easy transport or storage, so you can take it with you wherever you go.

The leg pad features a “channel” that provides added stability and comfort for the user.

The seat and handle can also be easily adjusted and there are no tools required so anyone can do it. 

This model even offers a weight limit of up to 300 pounds.

The deluxe hand operated brakes provide immediate stopping ability to keep you safe. There's also a push button brake lock to use while parking.

The dual wheel brake mechanism combined with the 8-inch wheels provides for perfect handling whether you’re indoors or venturing outside.

Key Features of this Knee Walker

  • check
    Can be folded easily for transport.
  • check
    Can be used indoors or outdoors.
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    Optimal stability and control.
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    Offers deluxe braking system for safety.
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    No tools are required to make any adjustments.


  • Customer favourite, high ratings
  • Well-priced, value for money
  • Rolls smoothly


  • No basket
  • Not suitable for all-terrain use 
  • Brakes very sharp - care must be taken

9 Tips for Using Your Knee Walker

Here are a few tips to make the best of your alternative for crutches.

  • 1
    Stand naturally with your injured leg at a 90-degree angle.
  • 2
    Set the handlebars at a comfortable distance in front of your body, generally at waist height.
  • 3
    Make sure the brakes are on every time you're placing your knee on or off the scooter.
  • 4
    Always keep your speed under control, this isn’t a race.
  • 5
    Keep your weight over the center of the walker to maintain proper balance.
  • 6
    Use the walker as an added help to get in and out of the shower. Roll the scooter directly to the side of the shower. Then, with the brakes on, use it for support as you get in and out of the shower.
  • 7
    Be careful when going around turns as the walker can easily tip or lean if it’s being operated too fast.
  • 8
    Have help with you when going up and down hills or facing any uneven terrain.
  • 9
    Ideally, you should practice using the walker prior to surgery as there can be a learning curve.

iWALK 2.0 Hands Free Crutch


A hands-free crutch will be much better for certain people than a knee walker will. 

It's essentially a crutch that attaches to your leg, keeping your lower leg supported.

Think pirate peg leg and you'll get the right idea! 

The best thing about it, in my opinion, is that it means your hands are left free!

That means you can carry shopping, hold a coffee, or do any of the little things that crutches stop you from doing.

A knee walker still requires you to use at least one hand to steer it, so if having hands your hands available is a priority for you, try this product out instead. 

One thing I really admire in this product is that they're very keen to make sure that only people that could truly benefit from a hands-free crutch purchase it.

That gives you reassurance that their priority is your health and well-being, not just their profits. I don't know about you, but that's the kind of business I want to support!

They provide a helpful manual along with the product and also have some extremely clear and useful videos to make sure you can use the product with total confidence. 

Users say that although you can only move slowly to begin with, once you've got the hang of it you can get up some real speed!

You won't be running anywhere, but you'll be able to get around much more quickly and efficiently, with no restrictions. 

Tips for Using Your Hands-Free Crutch

Does the peg leg crutch appeal to you?

For tips on making the most of a hands-free crutch, check out the detailed instructions for use and videos on their website!

They've got a thorough guide that will explain step-by-step how to get used to your new crutch. 

Overall, be sure to take it slowly and give yourself time to adjust and become accustomed to this new way of getting around.


Now that you realize there are alternatives to crutches, there’s nothing holding you back from having a fun and safe recovery.

We've reviewed the Drive Medical Steerable Knee Walker and the iWalk Hands-Free Crutch, so there's an option for everyone.  

Both of these options are great, and the one that's best for you will depend entirely on your preferences and circumstances. 

Hands-free crutches are best for those who were fit and mobile before their injury, and want to be as unrestricted as possible, but they require skill. If you're looking for a more stable and easy-to-use option, go for a knee walker. 

You’ll no longer be faced with those sore muscles or chaffed skin. Instead, you’ll be able to focus on continuing to live life just as you want to and have a lot more freedom!

If you want to learn more about the knee walker reviewed above, be sure to check out the company’s YouTube video.