Posted by: onhiatus | June 22, 2012

My Poor Crutches: Airports & Adventures

Day 17 definitely brought an adventure.  First airport experience since the injury and it was as though security had never seen a cast before. Amazing.

Got swabbed, scanned, metal detected a couple of times, had my cast x-rayed 3 times (7 times on the return flight), got kicked back out of the body scanner (apparently you need both feet touching the ground), and hopped a few miles around TSA while my crutches were under their own investigation.  I had no idea they had a special x-ray machine for casts, too. Here’s what it looks like:


Used a wheelchair for both arriving & departing the Atlanta airport but other than that, it was crutches all the way. Speaking of  crutches…. How long does it take to wear yours out?

Not even three weeks in and mine already look like this.  Geesh…. Guess I’ll get new tips this weekend.


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What a nightmare with TSA! Sounds like everything was stumble free, though, and that’s all that matters. Amazing wear and tear on the crutches - at least you’re getting an upper body workout!

Wow, how those crutch tips are worn! Although I’m surprised, I really have no idea how long they last as I was able to give up my crutches quite early and also used a knee scooter until week 4 or so.

Have you been resting much, or told to get out there and walk a lot?

I’m surprised the TSA allowed you to take a picture of their X-ray machine.

My crutch tips started falling apart the first week. I would find gray rubber all over my carpets.
I had to replace the tips after four weeks because the entire bottom of one tip came off and I was walking on bare aluminum. Of course, I didn’t notice this until I went on hardwood and the crutch slid out from under me. (Luckily, I crashed into a bannister and was able to grab it before I went all the way down).
My next purchase is going to be new hand grips and underarm pads. They have actually started to disintegrate after only five weeks of use.

You two who had early failure of crutch tips may have been using “shop-worn” crutches maybe? Like they sat around for a while before they were sold/issued to you? Or just cheap junk, unless you’ve been running crutch marathons…

Interesting question @normofthenorth They looked new when I got them but I’ve also been kind of hard on them. We’ll soon see since I got a brand new pair of tips this week… Feeling some stress on my good leg knee/hip though and read some warning tips here so thinking of easing up & being less angry on them.

Brand new crutches from ER for me. 12 days lost bottom of mine. Luckily someone standing Eddie me caught me as I fell. Stupid metal pice is middle comes out. Who was the idiot that thought this up. Wife took them back to ER and they gave us new ones. 15 days later same crap. Not old ones, brand new ones twice.

I have been walking on crutches for over 20 years now due to my disability and in the last year (2012) I notice that after couple of days of walking crutch tips started to fall apart. A week later or two, if I’m lucky, I have to go crutch tip hunting. Before 2012 I maybe got a new pair every 3-5 months. In fact 2 weeks ago a pair of tips that I had only had for about a week fell apart and I asked my neighbors if they had old crutches laying around and if I could steal their tips. Those tips were at least 3 years old from what I was told and right now they still look the same as the day they first got the crutches from the ER 3 years ago, and I have been walking on them for 2 going on 3 weeks. I haven’t seen any rubber tips that broke off yet. With that being said I think there was a formula change in making crutch tips. For people like me who is still trying to walk as much as possible till the day where I know I will have get a wheelchair sure is hard to do that when you have to buy 4-6 pairs of crutch tips a month. I hope this helped you in any way.

FYI to anyone who is look to buy crutch tips DO NOT buy Heavy Duty Crutch Tips. They cost more and they fall apart just as fast as the cheap. If you are on crutches for a while or like me long term look for Extented Wear Crutch Tips, they are hard to find but the rubber is more loose and flexible. As you put your weight on the crutches you push the crutch down and with a flexible rubber the pressure won’t force the tips to crack and break. It’s like a pillow, if you lay down on it it spreads and when you lift you head back up the pillow slowly puts itself back in shape. That’s what you want your crutch tips to do.

I have the same problem with my crutches. it is not the tips. I think that we have gone through the tips and have been grinding the bottom of the metal which eat through the rubber tips. Still look for a solution.

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