How Much do Crutches Cost in 2023?
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, you’re generally on your own once you get out. Considering that they’re one of the few 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 more durable, lightweight, or bariatric-friendly pair, you need to consider a few more things. Thankfully, we’ve devised a simple guide that will tell you everything you need to know: How many different types of crutches cost, where to buy them, and the qualities you need to watch 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 greatly aid 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, or axillary crutches, are the most popular type in the United States. As mentioned above, the cost ranges from $20 to $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 under the arm, pressed into the user’s armpit. They have a simple, straight frame that will provide adequate support for most people.
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. This broader range in price is because there are more styles and designs of forearm crutches. Some styles include crutches made from bariatric steel and ones with modifications and design changes to make them more ergonomic and comfortable for specific uses.
Additional Costs Associated With Crutches
Most crutches 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 on the end of the 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 cheap and available on Amazon, at CVS, and other stores.
Crutch pads are the ones you find at the top of a crutch. They provide comfort and soften the stress crutches on a user’s armpit while preventing axillary nerve damage. Some crutch pads cover the grip, preventing users’ hands from becoming calloused. Crutch pads usually cost around $10 and 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. These pairs go for $16.25 at Allegro or $20 at Millenial Medical. It is also available on Amazon, with prices starting at $17.99.
The crutch bag is usually made of waterproof material, making it durable and easy to clean. The pouch can be used with any crutch, and it has many pockets that can hold various items – keys, a phone, or a bottle of water. Prices start at $9.99 and can cost up to $30 on Amazon.
Cost of Crutches Sold at Different Stores
|Store||Minimum Cost of Crutches Sold||Maximum Cost of Crutches Sold|
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 to buy crutches locally are:
At CVS, 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, ranging from $30 to around $130 for a pair.
If you don’t need the expertise and support a pharmacy can provide, it might be 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 healthcare 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 offering various 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 look different, SmartCrutch is the place to go. However, their premium products come with a price ranging from $65 to $120 for a pair.
And, of course, we must mention Amazon, the world’s most popular online retail store. Amazon sells everything, so it is no wonder they sell an incredibly vast range of crutches. They stock every brand you can think of and are worth checking out.
Other Things to Consider
While minimizing costs when buying a pair of crutches can be nice, it’s worth remembering that they are essential mobility aids. Here are some specific things you should look for when shopping for a pair.
First, ensure the crutches you’re looking at fit your body well. A tall person will not need the same pair of crutches as a short person, and a heavy person will not 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. What style of crutches is preferable for you? If you used underarm crutches at the hospital, consider using 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.
Will the cost of crutches be covered by insurance?
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. If you have one, it’s worth speaking to your insurance company 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.
Is it worth buying used crutches?
Yes, however, it’s preferable to have new crutches that fit your body. Essential new crutches are available for as low as $20. It is worth buying used crutches if you are on a budget. It may not be as comfortable as new ones, but they will still get the job done.
How much does a hospital charge for crutches?
Suppose you are hospitalized and need crutches while in the hospital. The hospital will provide them for you at no cost. Afterward, you will pay to cover renting or purchasing your crutches.
Alternatives to Crutches
Navigating through your recovery period with comfort and ease is essential. If crutches aren’t your preference, consider these alternatives:
- Knee Scooters offer a comfortable and mobile alternative, especially for those who find crutches cumbersome or painful.
- Walking Boots provide a balance of mobility and support, allowing for a more natural walking experience.
- Canes are ideal for individuals with minor injuries looking for a simple, easy-to-use support tool.
- Wheelchairs offer an option for those needing to completely offload the injured leg, providing comfort but limiting mobility to some extent.
|Features||Crutches||Knee Scooters||Walking Boots||Canes||Wheelchairs|
|Ease of Use||Moderate||Easy||Easy||Easy||Moderate|
|Application||General||Non-weight bearing||Foot/Ankle injuries||Minor injuries||Non-weight bearing|
If crutches have been your go-to mobility aid post-surgery or after an accident, exploring alternatives can open up avenues for enhanced comfort and mobility. It’s a common scenario – you’re handed crutches at the hospital, but once you step outside, you can feel overwhelmed and, at times, uncomfortable with crutches.
As you weave through the recovery path, remember that each step, hop, or roll is a move toward healing.