Discontinued Model Instructions
iWALK Crutch Tips & Tricks
First Generation iWALKFree – Crutch Troubleshooting Checklist
Please note that these suggestions do not pertain to the iWALK 2.0 model, only the first generation iWALKFree.
If you’re having trouble during the initial phase of getting used to your iWALK crutch then follow the checklist below for assistance:
- Is the crutch knee platform positioned at the correct height?
- Are the crutch adjustment buckles placed on the outside of your injured leg?
- Are the crutch thigh straps positioned correctly?
- Is the crutch platform (calf) strap positioned correctly?
- Are the crutch adjustment strap foam pads correctly positioned on the straps (i.e., NOT touching the buckle and inhibiting full tightening of the strap)
- Are all three crutch straps fully tightened? This is ESSENTIAL to the stability of the iWALK crutch. The more stable, the more confidence you’ll have, so really cinch them down if you’re having difficulty.
- Are you keeping your legs in an exaggerated “V” position while walking with the iWALK crutch?
If all of these are correct, then start over, carefully following the instructions provided in our How to use section. Here you will find tutorial videos and videos of customers taking their first step in their new iWalk Crutch.
That should do it, but if you’re still struggling, then pick up the phone and call us.
Adjusting the foam pads on crutch adjustment straps
For full comfort and stability, you’ll want the black foam pads on the ratchet toothed adjustment straps to be centered on the back of your leg or calf (or cast). This will provide the most comfort and stability. Another key point is that if the pads contact the buckle, then you’ll get a false sense that the strap is fully tightened, AND STABILITY OF YOUR CRUTCH WILL BE SIGNIFICANTLY COMPROMISED.
The crutch’s pads were designed to be loose enough that you can move them by hand, and tight enough that they will stay in their adjusted position. Characteristics in manufacturing of high density closed cell foam like that used on the strap pads can cause variances, and in some instances the foam pads can be very tight and difficult to move. If they do not adjust easily by hand (with the strap removed from the buckle), then follow the instructions below.
In short, you’ll want to lubricate the areas where the foam pad and the adjustment strap touch. In order to do this, you will want to drip, pour or spray a lubricant into the space between the strap and its pad. Once you’ve done that, the pad will move more easily and can be adjusted by hand to the correct position. Here’s how you do it:
- Find a flat “probe” that you can slip down between the foam pad and the ratchet teeth of the adjustment strap. Common household items that work well include a screwdriver, a butter knife, a paint stirrer or any other long, flat object. Insert it down the foam as far as you can – ideally it will protrude from both ends of the foam.
- Slightly pry open one side of the foam padding so that you can spray, drip or pour a non-toxic lubricant down the inside of the foam pad. Hold the strap / pad such that gravity causes the lubricant to run down and through to the other end of the pad. Common household items can work quite well, and include water with dish soap (our favorite), light vegetable oil, silicone spray lubricant, citrus de-greasers, etc. IMPORTANT – the lubricant must be non-toxic and non-staining as it will ultimately come in contact with either your skin or clothing when the crutch is worn. For this reason, we are particularly fond of soapy water because the lubricating properties are gone once it dries.
- Repeat step 2 on the flat (non-ratchet tooth) side of the strap.
- Next, remove the probe and try pushing the strap into the desired position. You might need a dish towel or rag to grasp the strap as it may be slippery from the lubricant. Here’s a tip – remove one of the thigh saddles from the crutch (if you haven’t already) and install the strap onto the thigh saddle – it makes a good grip when trying to move the foam pad with the other hand.
- If you still can’t move the pad, try pushing the flat probe down the ratchet tooth side of the strap and repeat step 4. Make sure that your probe isn’t sharp or otherwise dangerous, as the pad can slip suddenly and unexpectedly.
- If you STILL can’t move it, using scissors, wire cutters or a box cutter, make small slits one or more inches long in either end of the foam pad on the ratchet tooth side of the pad. Try adjusting again. If even this fails, then call us and we’ll help.
Adjustments for users with casts
If you have a cast that partially rests on the knee platform, then the “step up” to the cast can cause issues in some instances. There are several very easy solutions. In order, try these:
- Fold a small towel and insert it under your leg, next to the cast, such that it acts as a “shim” to even out the step between the casted and non-casted sections of your calf. For reasons we can’t fully explain, a hand towel has just the right density and grip and usually works better than adding more padding.
- Cut away some of the foam where the cast contacts the foam. Often the cast has enough padding that you don’t need the padding provided on the knee platform, so simply cut away the padding that is contacting the cast. Here’s a tip – the padding is adhered to the platform using a contact cement, and should peel off without damage if you go slowly. Mark the area that you want to cut away, remove the pad from the platform and then make a clean cut. Save the removed piece of foam because if after using the crutch with the padding removed you find that you don’t like it, you can simply reinstall the section of padding that you previously removed.
- Add additional padding – If the hand towel solution in detailed in step 1 above isn’t to your liking, you can obtain additional padding directly from us. Contact us for replacement pads which can be used to bolster or shim your existing pad.
Adding stability when using iWALK crutch
Here are a couple of tips we’ve learned that can make iWALKFree more stable for some users.
- Make sure that the crutch’s lower thigh strap is as low as possible on your leg so that it holds your knee from lifting off the knee platform when walking.
- Make sure all three of the crutch straps are cinched tight.
- Make sure that the foam pads on the crutch’s adjustment straps are centered on the back of your leg / calf.
- Make sure that you leg is bent 90 degrees.
If your knee is lifting or your leg isn’t bent 90 degrees
- Make sure the lower thigh strap is as low as possible and fully tightened.
- Try adding a folded hand towel under your knee / front section of your calf.
Adding a spacer / shim between your leg and the crutch platform pad
We’re not sure why, but some users are more comfortable if they place a folded hand towel either at the front or the back of the knee platform, between their leg and the platform pad. Try both – you might find that it makes you more comfortable or stable. Try different thicknesses too.