Forearm Crutches (aka Elbow Crutches)
A "crutch" is simply a medical device that helps someone get from one space to another. Crutches can be either short term use (most likely for an injury or surgery) or for a long term disability. In either case it's important to chose carefully, but it is more critical to chose wisely when using crutches long term.
Although underarm crutches are still very common, they are often used incorrectly. When used properly they rest under the armpit and transfer the weight mainly to the hands. This requires strength in the hands and can cause discomfort where the upper crutch rests below the underarms. Increasingly long term crutch users are preferring forearm crutches. In fact, outside of North America, Forearm Crutches (also known as Elbow Crutches or Canadian Crutches) are the most popular form of crutches. There is a unique design to forearm crutches in that a cuff wraps around the forearm (or elbow or wrist) for increased stability and support. Rather than distributing the weigh to the underarms and hands as in traditional crutches, forearm crutches distribute weight to the arms.
Forearm crutches are also shorter than traditional crutches, making them generally easier to transport. The benefit of forearm crutches are improved comfort, easier to use, improved walking speed, less risk of nerve damage, improved stability on uneven surfaces and easier to walk down stairs.