What is a Non-Weight Bearing Scooter?
- Sometimes, life decides to throw us a curveball and—woof—we get an injury.
At times, it's when we least need it. But that's the way life goes; the obstacle is the way. Depending on your particular injury or surgery, your physician will decide whether or not you will be full non-weight bearing (NWB) or not.
Some common injuries that require a non-weight bearing period are:
Further Reading: Non-Weight Bearing Medical Conditions
What does non-weight bearing mean?
Being non-weight bearing means you have to keep weight off your injured leg at all times. This period is a crucial step in your recovery: you're not allowed to place even a hair of weight on your injured leg—not even resting your toes on the ground. Absolutely no cheating allowed!
There is a danger in putting weight on your foot during your non-weight bearing period. Even placing your foot on the ground for a little bit can complicate your recovery or move any surgical hardware around. Your doctor will tell you when you are allowed to progress to the next step of your weight-bearing stage.
There are different shades of weight-bearing:
Non-weight bearing aid devices
During your non-weight bearing period, you'll be prescribed a mobility aid device. The main function of a non-weight bearing device is to help you support your weight while you wait for your injured leg to recover.
When you are in a non-weight bearing period, this means you'll have to get around on one foot.
What is a non-weight bearing scooter?
A non-weight bearing scooter is simply another name for a knee scooter or knee walker, both the latter terms are used interchangeably.
A knee scooter is a modern solution to keeping your injured leg non-weight bearing. They were designed with comfort in mind. Its main goal is to provide your body support in the most comfortable way possible.
You'll be able to get around much quicker—all while remaining securely balanced. Knee walkers are pain-free to use. In essence, they will give you your independence back.
When doing your chores, you'll have the ability to use both your arms, since your leg with be resting on the padded knee rest—anchored in place by using its parking brakes.
A knee scooter doesn't encourage you to cheat since it's primary goal is to provide you with the utmost comfort when supporting your body. If you find yourself Netflix-and-chilling, you can use the knee pad as leg rest when sitting.
Further Reading: What is a Knee Scooter? The Complete Guide
Other Non-weight bearing aid devices
The standard thing to recommend is crutches. At first, this may seem to you fine and dandy until you have to use them during your day-to-day. The first big challenge you'll encounter is not being able to carry anything with you unless you're wearing a fanny pack or backpack.
Then you'll start to feel worn out because crutches are uncomfortable and require a fair amount of physical exertion. You'll find yourself with sore armpits and swollen hands.
Crutches hurt. Thank you, next!
There is the option of using an iWalk. It is essentially a hands-free crutch. Although it does have the advantage of getting around completely hands free, we believe it only benefits only a particular set of people. If you're not physically fit and have core and leg strength, then move on to the next suggestion.
The second disadvantage is that you have to be strapped to it at all times, putting it on and off takes time.
It becomes a hassle when you have to get on and up from a seat consistently.
It also takes a bit of getting used to it. As a reasonably fit person, my first time using it was quite a challenge. It does require focusing on staying balanced. Additionally, tripping on it was a fear that was always on the back of my mind. One false stride with the crutch and—boom—off to the floor you go!
Though I will say, it did give me insight into what it feels to walk like a pirate.
Only people with physically demanding jobs, and who are on their feet a lot will benefit from an iWalk.
Recovering from an injury can take a long time. When choosing a mobility aid device for your non-weight bearing injury, always choose the most comfortable option that will be an asset during your recovery journey.
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