NCLEX RN Practice Question # 477

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Crutch Walking (NCLEX Review)   


  • An accurate measurement of the client forcrutches is important because an incorrect measurement could damage the brachial plexus.
  • The distance between the axillae and the arm pieces on the crutches should be two to three fingerwidths in the axilla space.
  • The elbows should be slightly flexed, 20 to 30 degrees, when the client is walking.
  • When ambulating with the client, stand on the affected side.
  • Instruct the client never to rest the axillae on the axillary bars.
  • Instruct the client to look up and outward when ambulating and to place the crutches 6 to 10 inches diagonally in front of the foot.
  • Instruct the client to stop ambulation if numbness or tingling in the hands or arms occurs. Crutch gaits

Assisting the client with crutches to sit and stand

  • Place the unaffected leg against the front of the chair.
  • Move the crutches to the affected side, and grasp the armof the chairwith the hand on the unaffected side.
  • Flex the knee of the unaffected leg to lower self into the chair while placing the affected leg straight out in front.
  • Reverse the steps to move from a sitting to standing position.

Going up and down stairs

  • Up the stairs
    • The client moves the unaffected leg up first.
    • The client moves the affected leg and the crutches up.
  • Down the stairs
    • The client moves the crutches and the affected leg down.
    • The client moves the unaffected leg down.

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