How Much do Crutches Cost in 2019?
If you’ve been in a severe accident or recently undergone lower body surgery, you’ve probably considered crutches. While hospitals usually provide them while you’re there, once you get out you’re generally on your own. Considering that they’re one of the few types of mobility aids that help people go from place to place if their limbs are injured, it’s understandable that you’d wonder: How much do crutches cost?
Generally, a pair of underarm crutches (or axillary crutches) cost between $20 and $50, whereas forearm crutches (or elbow crutches) cost between $30 and $200. However, this depends on the style, material, and design of the crutches you are interested in.
If you want a simple pair of lightweight aluminum underarm crutches like the ones provided in most hospitals, a budget of $40 should get you a pair that is of reasonable quality and fits your needs.
However, if you’re looking for a pair that is more durable, lightweight, or bariatric friendly, there are a few more things you need to consider. Thankfully, we’ve devised a simple guide that will tell you everything you need to know: How much different types of crutches cost, where you can buy them, and the qualities you need to be watching out for.
In This Article
The Usual Costs of Different Types of Crutches
Crutches are the most common form of walking aid for those who have a temporary injury. They’re affordable, portable, and familiar. Despite that, they’re still a great medical tool that can be of great aid to those after surgery. The main benefit of crutches is that they can help you balance yourself while you go about your day. This stability prevents pressure from stressing your feet or legs by transferring it to your arms.
Underarm crutches, otherwise known as axillary crutches, are the most popular type of crutches in the United States. As mentioned above, the cost generally ranges from $20-$50. Usually, underarm crutches are manufactured with aluminum or steel. In terms of design, they typically look like the ones in the photo above. They generally have a pad that is held under the arm, pressed into the user’s armpit. They have a simple, straight frame that for most people will provide adequate support.
Forearm crutches, otherwise known as elbow crutches, on the other hand, are a little bit more complicated in design. They are usually adjustable in height, and as the name suggests, provide forearm support. Unlike underarm crutches, forearm crutches have more variance in price, generally ranging from $30-$200. The reason for this broader range in price is because there are more styles and designs of forearm crutches to choose from. Some styles include crutches made from bariatric steel and ones with modifications and design changes to make them more ergonomic and comfortable for specific types of uses.
Additional Costs Associated With Crutches
Most crutches available on the market come with everything you need to use them, so there shouldn’t be any hidden costs! However, there are optional accessories and parts that you can get to make your crutches more comfortable and easier to use – and the price of these can add up, so watch out. These accessories include but are not limited to:
Crutch tips are the little rubber caps that go on the end of crutches legs. These help the user have greater grip control and prevent the crutches from slipping on smooth surfaces. Crutch tips also offer shock absorption to stop vibrations from stressing your joints. Thankfully, tips are super cheap and available on Amazon, at CVS, and other stores.
Crutch pads are the pads that you find at the top part of a crutch. They provide comfort and soften the stress crutches place on a user’s armpit while preventing axillary nerve damage. Some crutch pads also cover the grip, preventing users’ hands from being becoming calloused. Crutch pads usually cost around $10 and, again, are available on Amazon and at CVS, amongst other stores.
Forearm cuffs are an accessory used to add padding around the forearm area, alleviating the discomfort associated with hinges and rivets. A pair of these go for $16.25 at Allegro or $20 at Millenial Medical.
Cost of Crutches Sold at Different Stores
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When looking for crutches, there are so many brands and stores out there that it can become overwhelming. It might be a good idea to start by looking local and seeing what’s in stock. Some examples of where you can find crutches locally are:
The CVS Pharmacy
At CVS, both axillary and forearm crutches can be purchased from $30 to $130 for a pair.
Walgreens is the second-largest pharmacy in the United States, so it makes sense that they have many different styles and brands of crutches to choose from, ranging from $30 to around $130 for a pair.
If you don’t need the expertise and support that a pharmacy can provide, it might worth considering Walmart. Walmart has a range of crutches starting at a super affordable $15 and going up to almost $300 for premium models.
If you can’t make it to a local store and would like to shop online instead, there are also many options you can choose from, including:
Allegro Medical is a large online health care supply and home medical equipment store. They have excellent customer service and sell crutches from $16 to $400(!) for a pair.
Perhaps one of the cheapest options, Vitality Medical is another sizeable online healthcare supply store that offers a range of discounts and deals on crutches. The most inexpensive pair they offer goes for only $13, and their most expensive pair for $120.
SmartCrutch is a stand-out supplier of uniquely designed crutches and related products. If you want a pair of crutches that looks different, SmartCrutch is the place to go. However, their premium products come with a premium price, ranging from $65 to $120 for a pair.
And of course, we have to mention Amazon, the most popular online retail store in the world. Amazon sells everything, so it is no wonder they sell an incredibly vast range of crutches. They stock every brand you can think of, so they are definitely something worth checking out.
Other Things to Consider
While it can be nice to minimize costs when buying a pair of crutches, it’s worth remembering that they are essential mobility aids. Here are some specific things you should be looking out for when shopping for a pair.
First of all, make sure the crutches you’re looking at are a good fit for your body. A tall person is not going to need the same pair of crutches as a short person, and a heavy person is not going to need the same pair of crutches as a light person. Make sure the crutches you buy are suitable for your height and weight.
As mentioned above, crutches come in different styles. It’s worth considering what style of crutches is preferable for you: If you used underarm crutches at the hospital, you might want to use them again, especially as they usually cost less. However, forearm crutches can provide more support and put less pressure on your armpit, so if those are important to you, they might be a better choice.
Finally, insurance will often cover the cost of crutches, but this will always depend on the style and model, and whether your policy covers that style and model. It’s worth speaking to your insurance company, if you have one, before purchasing crutches to work this out. It’s also worth noting that if you’re on Medicare Part B, you’ll be expected to pay 20% of the approved cost of the crutches you choose.
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