crutch talk

This annoys me more than I even know how to put it into words. Every month the metal breaks through the tip of my crutches. It is paralyzing. I suddenly have a super slippery metal tip that clunks with each step. It always seems to happen at the worst time possible. I am either stuck with them like that all day or I end up running to Walgreens to buy an overprice kit (and pray I don’t slip and fall during the process). 

Let me explain…

Drug stores do not seem to carry just the replacement tips anymore. They sell the whole set which includes the arm pads, hand pads and tips. So I have a huge mound of these accessory parts that I don’t need. I also have wasted a lot of cash. To get the tips separately I have to go to a medical supply store/well stocked pharmacy (which seem to be never open) or order in bulk online.

A few years back my boss gave me an article about a few local engineers that designed a crutch prototype after one of them had to use crutches for 18 weeks. I read the article and tracked them down. In my note I mentioned that I beat the inventor Jesse’s 18 weeks by a good 28 years with crutches and had lots of ideas if he was interested.

He wrote back and I met with him and his team for lunch. They were gracious and seemed excited to hear my point of view. It was really eye-opening for me and I realized how much I know about crutches and my personal wish list. 

10 things about crutches that I really hate…

1. They ruin shirts. The rubber arm pads make my shirts bumpy and gross. It’s cool because I have an amazing shopping excuse and sad when it ruins my favorites.

2. They squish my arms and make them look fat.

3. They make a clicking noise.  Ahhhh! I cannot – let me repeat CANNOT stand hearing myself. My husband fills my crutches with super glue when I get a new set to help eliminate that issue. {true love}

4. They hurt bare arms and make summer clothes a big bummer.

5. They slip out from under my arms so easily on wet linoleum, greasy gas station tiles or Mc Donald’s floors. It never fails if I reach up for a straw at a fast food place they will pop out from under my arm.

6. They make walking on slanted terrain awkward. One armpit is being attacked.

7. They ruin Halloween costumes and generate unwanted attention/questions. Why is the ladybug on crutches?

8. When there is not a good place to prop them when out to eat, the waitress and/or other diners inevitably trip on them. They feel bad and I feel bad that I caused them to feel bad.

9.  When switching the hand pads I expect blisters until they are broken in.

10. They make it impossible to walk and carry my son, an umbrella, drink a beverage, talk on the phone, etc

I know there are some pretty sweet custom crutch gadgets out there and I have found my dream tips and winter accessories. I just can’t make myself spend that much yet. As much as I may have some crutch baggage, I also love them. They allow me walk, do my thing and be independent….well, that is until my tip breaks through.

3 thoughts on “crutch talk

  1. Rachel, I can see how this could be annoying. Some enterprising folks need to come up with a designer line of custom tips that are durable, fashionable, interchangeable, and fun. Maybe solving this problem could lead to a new business venture for you!


  2. Yes! I have so many ideas for cute strap on bags, beverage holders, hook on trays so you could go through a buffet line and carry your own plate, etc. Maybe someday I can run with it. 🙂


  3. Rachel,I've had the same problem with the drugstore crutch tips wearing a hole through within a month. They're cheap junk.Try Tornado crutch tips. They're $30 bucks but I've had mine for quite a few years now. Yes YEARS!Good luck


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