Nursing Care Related to the Musculoskeletal System

1-13

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1-13. CRUTCH WALKING GAITS

 

a. The 4-point gait (see figure 1-8) is used when the patient can bear some weight on both lower extremities. Place the patient in the tripod position and instruct him to do the following.

 

(1) Move the right crutch forward.

 

(2) Move the left foot forward.

 

(3) Move the left crutch forward.

 

(4) Move the right foot forward.

 

(5) Repeat this sequence of crutch-foot-crutch-foot for desired ambulation.

 

 

Figure 1-8. 4-point crutch walking gait.

 

b. The 3-point gait (see figure 1-9) is used when the patient should not bear any weight on the affected leg. Place the patient in the tripod position and instruct him to do the following.

 

(1) Move the affected (non-weight bearing) leg and both crutches forward together.

 

(2) Move the unaffected (weight bearing) leg forward.

 

(3) Repeat this sequence for desired ambulation.

 

 

Figure 1-9. 3-point crutch walking gait.

 

c. The 2-point gait (see figure 1-10) is used when the patient can bear some weight on both lower extremities. Place the patient in the tripod position and instruct him to do the following.

 

(1) Move the right leg and left crutch forward together.

 

(2) Move the left leg and the right crutch forward together.

 

(3) Repeat this sequence for desired ambulation.

 

 

Figure 1-10. 2-point crutch walking gait.

 

d. Swing-through gait (see figure 1-11) is used for patients with lower extremities that are paralyzed and/or in braces. Place the patient in the tripod position and instruct him to do the following:

 

(1) Move both crutches forward together about 6 inches.

 

(2) Move both legs forward together about 6 inches.

 

(3) Repeat the sequence in rhythm for desired ambulation.

 

 

Figure 1-11. Swing-through gait.

 

 

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