Seeking the latest and greatest in mobility aids? If your need for mobility assistance stems from surgery or an injury to the leg or foot, a knee scooter might be the solution you are looking for!
When is a knee scooter an option?
Knee scooters (or knee walkers) serve as a maneuverable alternative to crutches, traditional walkers, and wheelchairs when a mobility aid is required for short-term non-weight bearing recovery, i.e. after ankle surgery. Crutches can be cumbersome, especially for elderly people, and wheelchairs can overly inhibit activity and make it harder to go about everyday life as you recover.
In addition to aiding your mobility, knee scooters can provide comfort, help you conserve greater energy when moving, and build muscle and bone strength as you heal.
What do I need to operate a knee scooter?
A knee scooter isn’t for everybody. Because you position one leg up (with your shin resting on the walker platform at 90 degrees) and use your other leg to propel yourself while holding onto a set of handlebars with both hands, you absolutely need to have good balance, coordination and strength.
Allowing you to continue to get around, be independent and complete daily tasks, knee scooters help you stay active and boost endurance during recovery. Most knee scooters are best operated indoors or outdoors on flat or paved environments. Rougher terrain or even frequent bumps and cracks in the ground can make balance and scooter stabilty more difficult.
How do I choose a knee scooter?
Depending on your height, weight, environment, and healing needs, the type of knee scooter you choose may vary.
Traditional knee scooter: Features four wheels, a heavy duty frame for stability, and a dual-braking system. Handle bars and contoured knee platform adjust up and down for proper fit. Collapsible for easy transportation.
Economy knee scooter is a more compact design with four wheels for easy storage and transportation. Features a single hand break and also height adjustable.
All Terrain knee scooter: Bulkier design from frame to thicker wheels with more tread, this type of knee scooter is engineered for rougher terrain (grass, dirt, gravel). Also folds down for easier storage and transportation, and is height adjustable.
3-Wheeled knee scooter: Smaller design with wider front and narrow back (single wheel in back) allows for more compact maneuvering, but requires greater stability from user. Height adjustable with dual braking system.
Swivel knee scooter: Features three smaller wheels in front and two in the back, and a 90 degree turn radius to make turning and rotating easier. Dual braking system and parking brake available as well.
Knee scooters come with helpful amenities too like cup holders, bags or baskets for carrying personal belongings, additional padding on the knee platform, and safety lights. Don’t forget to ask your mobility aid provider what options are available to you.
How do I get a knee scooter?
Because knee scooters are made for short-term recovery needs, there are cost-effective options for both buying or renting them. Buying a new or used knee scooter should involve talking to your doctor to see if it is a viable option during your recovery, finding out if your insurance may cover the mobility aid, and buying one online or through a medical equipment company that suits your needs.
Knee scooter rentals (U.S. Only) on the other hand may offer more options and industry-leading models than you would have available for purchasing, and prevent the hassle of storing it once you have completed recovery. You might also be offered the option of leasing, or renting a knee scooter to eventually buy it, if your healing process takes longer than expected.
So get moving!
If you are recovering from a sprain or fracture below the knee, an Achilles tendon injury, or surgery on the lower leg, ankle or foot, a mobility aid like the knee scooter can be just the motivation you need to keep moving! Talk with your healthcare provider about using a knee scooter to aid your mobility, and look online or contact a local medical equipment company to find one near you.