If you are about to undergo ACL surgery to repair a torn ligament in your knee, you may have already been told that you will need to use crutches for a few weeks while you are recovering. Especially if you have never had to use crutches before, you may wonder how you can make your life easier while trying to get around your house. Besides cleaning up the pathways in your house so that you do not trip, use the following tips to help make your time on crutches a little easier at home.
1. Carry Items in a Fanny Pack Around Your Waist
One concern you may have after your ACL surgery is how you are going to carry around items while still hanging on to your crutches. Even if you try to hold smaller items in your hand, you will lose some of your grip on the crutch, which could result in you falling and tearing open your knee incisions.
While you may have a bag you can throw over your shoulder, the weight of it may throw you off balance and fly forward, hitting the crutch on that side. Also, an over-the-shoulder bag will still require that you release one of your crutches to pull it around and get into it.
As an alternative, consider getting a fanny pack that you can wear around your waist. Because it rests snugly against the front of your body, it not only allows for easy access, but it also will not interfere with the crutches.
2. Rig Your Home's Doors for Easier Use
Another thing you may be concerned about when trying to plan how to get around your house safely is getting through the doors. Since you will need one hand on each crutch, releasing and trying to balance one of the crutches to turn the knob and push or pull the door open or shut can be cumbersome.
Before the day of your surgery, rig your home's interior doors for easier use. This will depend on whether or not the door can stay open. If some doors can stay open, place a doorstop under them so you do not have to worry about them.
However, for a door such as one for the bathroom, you still need to close it at least part of the way to give yourself privacy. For this door, put an object between the door jam and door so that it always stays partially open. Then, tie a string around both sides of the doorknob that allows you to pull the door open or shut more easily.
The above tips are only a couple of ways to help make the time you will spend on crutches go a little smoother. For further guidance or more information about the recovery period, speak with a doctor like one at El Camino Center for Sports Medicine who will be performing your orthopedic surgery for personalized advice.