When one’s lower limb is injured as a result of a disease or accident, it is often recommended that no weight should be placed upon the injured limb.
Bending the knee and placing it on a stable device is an effective way to keep off the weight from the injured leg.
This bent knee device has been around since the fourth century BC as depicted on a vase. Bent knee devices are also depicted in 15th and 16th century paintings.
K9 Orthopaedic Scooter
In 1986, Michael Reid developed a bent knee device called K9. According to Reid, the K9 was “designed to provide mobility for people with foot or ankle injuries or incapacity.” The assistive technology that he developed can be steered using the knee and can be used on even floors, carpets and pavements.
After the development of the K9, a number of bent knee devices called knee walkers were developed. In general, these mobility aids have three or four wheels, a cushioned platform and a brake. The Generation 2 Weil Knee Walker, for instance, has three wheels with a padded platform, a brake and a basket. The significant feature of this mobility aid is the cushioned platform – an area where the bent knee is placed.
Here are the 5 benefits of using the knee walker:
- Rehabilitative Aid
Useful for rehabilitation purposes for patients with temporary loss of the use of one leg.
- Permanent Aid
This can be used as a permanent aid for victims of polio and for below the knee amputees.
- Less Energy Expenditure
A study by Roberts and Carnes showed that this therapeutic tool requires 25% less energy expenditure than crutches.
- Body Weight Distribution
This therapeutic tool distributes the body weight through both legs.
- Muscle Bulk and Bone Strength Preservation
As the muscles near the injured leg are extensively used when using this assistive technology, the muscle bulk and bone strength are preserved.
For the effective use of this tool, follow these precautions:
-Place the weak knee at the center of the padded platform.
-When using this tool, stand as straight as possible. Take small steps with the stronger leg. Make sure that your strong leg is next or close to the padded platform.
-Be aware of your surroundings. Watch out for hazards and avoid them.
-Prior to using, make sure that the padded platform is in locked position. Make sure that the brake is operational. Check that all parts are secure and in good working order.
-To make sure that this medical device is properly balanced, make sure that all wheels must be in contact with the ground at all times. As such, never use this on curbs, stairs or any obstacles.