Do you often stub your crutch tips on the ground? It may mean your crutches are too long. Do you feel stoop shouldered? They may be too short. Try this test. Standing tall with your crutches at you side, allow your hand to drape over the hand grip. The deep crease between the palm of your hand and your wrist should line up with the top surface of your hand grip. If that crease falls way above the top of the grip there is a good chance your crutches are too short. If the crease is below the top of the grip your crutches are probably too long. Even if you are comfortable with the fit of your present crutches, check your measurements against the following information.
X Y Z measurements
The X, Y and Z measurements are three measurements needed to make your custom crutches. The X refers to the distance between the top of the cuff and the top of the grip handle. The Y refers to the distance between the top of the grip and the bottom of the crutch tube or tip. Specify at check out if this measurement is with or without crutch tips. We will add the extra length onto the crutch when we know what kind of tips you'll be using. The Z measurement is the circumference of your forarm at it's widest to give you the correct cuff size. Always use a tape measure, not a ruler, as it's more flexible.
Correct Arm Cuff Location:
The higher up on the forearm your cuff is, the greater the mechanical advantage for you. However if it is too high up, the cuff will bite into your upper arm when you lean over to pick something up. The distance between the point of your elbow to the top of your arm cuff at the back should be about 3 inches if your height is around 5'-8". If you are 6' tall or taller that measurement should be about 4". If you are 5' tall the measurement should be about 2". These are general guidelines only.
The best way to measure this distance is to sit down with one crutch on and point the crutch tip at the ceiling, bending your elbow at a 90° angle. Lay a tape measure on the back of your forearm so the end of the tape touches the back of the cuff. Then read the distance to the point of your elbow. This is only a guideline and your own comfort and usability will be the deciding factor. If your current crutches are adjustable, try them at different heights. As an example, if you decide that your current cuffs are too low by an inch, add the inch to the X measurement after you measure your crutch.
To take the X measurement:
Using a tape measure, measure from the top back surface of the hand grip to the top of the arm cuff. Measure along the bend of the crutch.
To take the Y measurement:
Using a tape measure, hook the end to the bottom of the crutch tip or tube and measure to the top surface of the hand grip. Specify at checkout if this measurement is with or without tip. We will make sure the length is correct when we know what kind of tip you'll be using.
To take the Z measurement:
Using a tape measure or string, measure your forearm at it's widest part.