It can be very frustrating to deal with the pain from a foot, ankle, or knee injury. Most people can’t stay off their feet for too long. Crutches or a wheelchair may be required to ensure your mobility without adding weight to the injury. However, each method has its own drawbacks. Crutches need more shoulder strength and offer less balance when moving. Sitting in a wheelchair limits your movements and it tends to be heavy and bulky. These problems are gone with a knee scooter. A knee scooter allows you to move around safely and easily. As a result, your daily obligations at work, school, and home can still be done without a hitch.
A knee scooter is also known as a knee walker, leg scooter, wheeled knee crutch, one leg walker, or knee crutch scooter. It is a type of medical equipment that acts as a crutch replacement. A knee scooter is able to treat a wide range of injuries such as a broken foot, broken ankle or Achilles tear.
It looks similar to a traditional scooter but it has an elevated knee platform that allows you to place your injured leg. Another good leg is on the ground beside the scooter, so you can push the scooter forward or backward with the good leg.
The majority of standard knee scooters are four-wheeled, though some manufacturers make three-wheel models. The handlebars of a knee scooter make it easy for you to steer the scooter to where you want.
Knee scooters have improved in maneuverability, comfort, safety, and ease of use over the years. The majority of knee scooters available today are made from lightweight aluminum or galvanized metal, have handbrakes, and can be easily folded up for transport and storage.
In order to ensure a smooth recovery, you need to consider many factors before finding the best knee scooter you prefer.
Best Knee Scooters
2 used from $118.79
- Sturdy alternative to crutches
- Provide stability with 4 smooth rubber wheels
- Suitable for either the right leg or the left
- Easy to control with adjustable locking handbrake
- Perform well for both children and adults using on smooth floor
- The padding could be more cushioned.
- Occasional folding issues
- The air-filled tires allow for walking on various terrains.
- Its bicycle brake and locking hand brake for safety in sliding
- Come with a basket
- Comfortable knee pad
- Its turning radius is a bit large but safe in a straight line.
- Not easy to fold up and fit in cars
- Stable operation with 4-wheel
- Easily fit into the car
- Come with a convenient basket
- Easy to assemble
- Need to be careful for uneven outdoor road
2 used from $163.38
- Durable structure
- Dual-padding for extra comfort
- Removable basket
- Safe operation with deluxe braking
- Steady four-wheel design
- A bit heavy to lift
- The wheels are not all-terrain and have no good grip on wet ground.
- Smooth rolling wheels
- Steerable and foldable handbar
- Dual-padded knee platform
- Support weight up to 350lbs
- Knee pads are not for long time walking. It’s better to add an extra pad to increase comfort.
What to Consider When Buying a Knee Scooter?
Knee scooter types
There are two types of scooters: all-terrain and standard. When you are choosing a knee scooter, consider where you will use your knee scooter, what the weather looks like, and what terrain you will encounter. You should choose the one that can go wherever you need it to.
If you spend a lot of time outdoors, an all-terrain knee walker allows you to travel on grass, dirt, and gravel with safety and ease. Because this knee scooter is typically equipped with large, wide, air-filled wheels that are able to handle rough terrain and trails. These wheels can absorb some shock and offer better grips on the ground. This makes it also suitable for smooth indoor floors. Many all-terrain knee scooters have inflatable wheels that can be customized in size. These models are more expensive than standard models so they might not be the best option if you have a tight budget.
Standard knee scooters have narrow, lightweight wheels that can be used indoors and on paved surfaces. A standard knee scooter can tip over if it is used outdoors on uneven terrain because its wheels tend to be smaller in size and frames and have fewer grips on the floors, especially on the wet floor. A standard scooter will cost you less, so it’s a viable option for those on a tight budget.
The size of a knee scooter depends on the user’s height and weight. Standard models are suitable for most adults or teenagers over 5’5”. For children and adults less than this level, there are pediatric knee scooters. These knee walkers have the same features but smaller than standard models. For extra tall and large people, you need to choose those scooters with large thick wheels, larger weight capacity, and a wider cushion pad.
Before choosing the right knee scooter, it’s best to consult your primary care physician. They will help you choose the right size and model according to your conditions.
Brakes are an important safety feature for knee walkers. Some models have both dual/ single rear disc brakes and a handbrake.
The disc brakes are installed at the back wheels of the scooter, which can slow down your speed.
The handbrake is located on the handlebars, which helps keep the scooter stable while you get on and off. Handbrakes are usually adjustable and go with a locking feature. This can ensure safety when you get off or when sliding on the slope. The material of the handbrake is also important. Plastic handbrakes tend to be flimsy and only last for a short time.
Steerable or non-steerable
You should consider whether a non-steerable or steerable model will be best for you if you are concerned about your ability to maneuver around obstacles with a knee scooter.
Steerable knee scooters can be turned using the handlebars. This makes it easier to maneuver around obstacles indoors and out. However, if the steerable knee walker has a large turning radius, you will need to move forward and backward many times to turn around. Or, you may not turn around in a tight space or corner. A steerable knee scooter can be unstable on uneven surfaces, and it can slip if you bump into things.
To change the direction of a non-steerable knee scooter, you must lift the front part of the scooter. This can make it difficult to maneuver around obstacles if you are injured. But, a non-steerable model may be more stable on uneven surfaces, so it might work better outdoors.
You will be resting your knee on the knee platform of the scooter, so you want it to be as comfortable as possible for normal riding. Some models have thick ergonomic padding for more comfort while others may have dual pads for extra support. Therefore, choose a knee scooter with at least 3 inches of padding.
If the padding of your knee scooter is not as comfortable as expected, you can purchase an additional knee scooter pad cover to fit your knee.
An ergonomic knee pad fits best for your knee and your leg won’t move too much when riding the knee scooter.
The weight of the knee walker determines how easily you can lift the scooter. Most knee scooters weigh between 15 to 25 pounds. A lightweight knee scooter allows you to take in or out easily. A heavy knee scooter will be difficult to lift.
Another weight you should consider is the maximum loading weight of the knee scooter. Most models can carry a maximum weight of 300 pounds, depending on materials and structure. Therefore, you should check the specifications to ensure it can hold your weight. Otherwise, it will not be safe for you.
Even though a knee scooter is light, it can be cumbersome to fit in a car’s trunk or back seat. You can fold your scooter easily to make it more convenient to transport and store. However, it is a good idea to measure the trunk space of your car and the folded dimensions of the knee scooter.
An adjustable model is best if you require a knee scooter that can be used by a variety of people. You should have the ability to adjust the handlebars and knee rest so that you can adjust them according to your height. Only proper height can ensure safety and comfort.
Since you will need to use your two hands to steer or operate the knee scooter, an attached front basket can be a great option to take your belongings while you’re on the go. If your knee scooter doesn’t come with a basket, you can buy and attach a separate one to the scooter.
Make sure your living space is large enough and obstacle-free to move a knee scooter.
How to Use A Knee Scooter Properly and Safely?
Safety is the most important thing when operating any mobile device. In order to ensure safety in use, here are some tips for properly using the knee scooter.
- For new users, you should read the user guide and get used to it around the house before you slide out.
- Keep your hands on both handlebars and brakes. So you can stop the knee cart in seconds just in case of an accident. Operating your knee walker with only one hand will result in unstable riding and tipping over.
- Wear nonslip shoes for riding.
- Never over-speed up a wheeled knee crutch. It will be unstable and may cause fall over if you go too fast.
- Never use a knee scooter for climbing up and down steps or stairs. Avoid escalators.
- Slow down and engage your handbrakes with every turn or when moving to different floor surfaces.
- Check the bolts and brakes before use. This can ensure you are safe in use.
- Don’t overload the knee walker. Make sure your weight is well below the maximum weight limit of a knee scooter. If your weight is up to the maximum loading, it may cause safety risks.
- The one-leg walker is designed for one person, not for two, even below the weight limit.
- Use backpack and/or front basket to hold personal items. Don’t try to grasp the items in riding. The personal items don’t include live pets and should be lightweight.
- Use a grabber to catch things beyond your arm’s reach. The knee walker may tip over if over-reach for items.
- Try to avoid riding on wet or slippery ground. Even if it’s an all-terrain knee scooter.
- Never drive a knee scooter after drinking alcohol.
Who Should and Shouldn’t Use A Knee Scooter?
Knee scooters are only suitable for lower leg injuries, such as:
- Ankle injuries like ankle sprains, ankle-breaking, and after ankle surgery
- Foot injuries like fractured foot, Achilles tear
Although knee walkers are great for moving around after an injury or surgery, there are some situations where you should never use them.
- You have a balancing or visual problem. Handling a knee scooter requires balance.
- Your injured leg cannot bend 90 degrees.
- When you are sick or tired.
However, it is always a good idea to check with your doctor if you are unsure whether you can be fitted for a knee scooter.