Date of Award

Spring 2018

Document Type

Thesis

Publisher

Santa Clara : Santa Clara University, 2018.

Department

Bioengineering

First Advisor

Prashanth Asuri

Abstract

Traditional crutches have long been the primary mobility aid for patients with a lower-leg injuries. However, forced to place most of their weight on their hands and underarms while balancing on only one leg, users find that such crutches present a physically demanding, uncomfortable, and inconvenient means of getting around. To combat these issues, we propose a hands-free crutch that will attach only to the injured leg, increasing maneuverability while preserving natural walking mechanics. Within the last decade, other hands-free crutch solutionshave proven to increase user satisfaction by reducing fatigue, increasing safety and efficiency by allowing users to perform additional tasks with their hands, and allowing them to navigate more difficult obstacles. Our product aims to be more customizable, comfortable, and affordable than such hands-free solutions. This crutch is designed to give the user the opportunity to suspend their injured leg at a variety of angles to alleviate varying amounts of stress. In addition, a “stair mode” uses a hydraulic suspension to shorten the crutch and allow the user to more easily raise their leg up to the next step.

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