It's About Time Someone Redesigned Crutches to Be Comfortable

Using a set of crutches while recovering from an injury is a minor inconvenience. But for anyone with physical challenges that require longterm crutch use, the devices can be a major barrier. This well-done redesign finally makes crutches more comfortable to use, and gives the user more freedom of movement.


The biggest improvement to Mobility Designed’s new M+D Crutches sees the user bearing weight on their elbows, instead of under their armpits. The redesign also helps take some of the strain off the user’s wrists and hands, allowing them to grip a pair of offset handles for better control and movement.

Those handles can be easily retracted, to allow more freedom in the movement of the user’s hands and wrists (when working on preparing food at a kitchen counter, for example). And the crutch arm rests can pivot up and down, allowing the user to reach for things, while still supporting the weight of their body.

Even the rubber feet on the bottom of the crutches have been completely redesigned to provide better cushioning and more grip, since they’re soft enough to spread out as pressure is applied to create more surface area and friction.

The creators of the M+D Crutch are moving closer to putting their redesign into production. But when it comes to supplanting a design that’s been in use, and in production, since the Civil War, they’re going to have to hit a price point that will make the crutches affordable enough to be worth the upgrade.

[Mobility Designed via Tech Insider]


One thing that always confused me is why in the US pretty much every pair of crutches that I see is of underarm crutches (first picture), when everywhere in Europe, everyone who needs them uses forearm crutches (second picture). Underarm crutches look uncomfortable and less stable to me, and yet, they are the crutch choice in the US and Canada. This site (biased because they sell forearm crutches) lists some of the benefits of forearm crutches and I’d agree with most of them. Maybe it comes down to tradition or just simply money savings, but healthcare costs in the US are so high, that spending more on crutches and passing it onto the consumers should be no problem for the health insurance companies...