Student Research Paper
Engineering and Physics
The following project focuses on the redesign of crutches, and more specifically, a redesign of the most common type of crutch, the axillary crutch. Every year, there are approximately 21 million Emergency Room visits for lower leg injuries, many of which would lead to short term crutch use . In this project, we attempted to correct common issues associated with the use of the axillary (underarm) crutch such as pinched nerves, poor posture, and exhaustion with use. We also identified the problem of common crutches not being suited for certain body types such as the difference in body shape between men and women, therefore trying to change the overall shape of the crutch to be suitable for those of all size and shapes. Over the course of three semesters, we have successfully created three sets of prototype crutches. In these prototypes, we successfully implemented our research on structures, materials, and energy return to create a more ergonomic, safe, and user-friendly assistive device. As a culmination of the junior and senior engineering projects, this project shows how research and redesign processes can be implemented effectively.
Reth, Austin; Lumbert, Kyle; Romich, Scott; Shultz, Audrey; and Stencler, Catherine, "Innovation of Crutches" (2019). Engineering: Student Scholarship & Creative Works. 2.