HealthBoards (
-   Foot & Ankle Problems (
-   -   Roll-A-Bout v. Crutches (

Gourmet Gayle 05-17-2005 09:26 AM

Roll-A-Bout v. Crutches
Has anyone ever used a Roll-A-Bout versus crutches after non-weight bearing foot surgery? If so, was it beneficial? More convenient than crutches? How did you find the contraption? Since I'll be having 2 surgeries the 2nd after the 1st heals -- I'm curious about ANYTHING that helps mobility.
Also: any recommendations for articles to have on hand before the surgery? Any special items that should be next to bed?
Thanks for your in-put, I'm super nervous about having to be so totally "dependant" while bed bound !!!

rollargirl 05-17-2005 09:39 AM

Re: Roll-A-Bout v. Crutches
Hi GG--I'm 6 weeks post-op on my second nwb surgery. I've used a roll-a-bout for both surgeries and it has kept me sane (barely at times). It does give you one free hand to carry things and allows your more mobility and less exertion than crutches. You will be tired after surgery and the roll-a-bout takes much less effort. There is another similar contraption called roller aid that I believe Joll43 is going to rent.

After 14 weeks this year on the roll-a-bout (surgeries back to back), I can get around on it very well. I bought mine on ebay since I needed it for two surgeries. The rental in my area (west coast) is about $30/week. You can rent from the manufacturer (they have a web site) or a local hospital supply store. I'm hoping for the okay to be pwb (partial weight bearing) later this week so I can start weaning myself off the scooter!!!!!!

Good luck and keep in touch,

In the archives is a wonderful list of things to do to help with surgery preparation. I'll see if I can find it and bring it back up to the top.

susieblueyes 05-17-2005 10:02 AM

Re: Roll-A-Bout v. Crutches
I can only share my experience with crutches.I have been on crutches on and off since Jan 7th.Actually full time since April 4th.I now wish I had rented a rolling device of some sort.Crutches are very tiring! Not to mention the hurting of your back,hip and leg.I have since found out from these boards that there is a name for people that suffer from using crutches.It is called [B]crutch-hip[/B].Another down side from using crutches is that you are unable to carry anything unless you become creative which I have learned to be.I stick everything that I need in my pockets in a plastic bag with handles and even in my bra. LOL Just make sure if you need to carry a drink you have a cover on it.
So if your question is...... crutches vs. roller device???? I'm for the roller device.If I had to do it all over again(which I pray to God every night that I won't)and I could afford to rent one, that's the way to go.
Good luck and keep in touch with us here.
Sue :angel:

Gourmet Gayle 05-17-2005 10:20 AM

Re: Roll-A-Bout v. Crutches
Thank you Linda for the information re: Roll A Bout. I'll check out ebay to perhaps locate a "semi-used" one - along with Medical Supply Stores to rent. Am loooking forward to receiving the "Archive" list of surgery prep stuff. I just found this site yesterday, and think it's going to be my Saving Grace post op.... not to mention the helpful advise I've already found available prior to the operation. Am already planning to borrow my daughter's lap top post op.... and hope continued contact with you "Foot Folks" will ease recovery. Thanks again. GG

Gourmet Gayle 05-17-2005 10:23 AM

Re: Roll-A-Bout v. Crutches
Thanks Sue for your response and encouragement about checking into the Roll A Bout. See the note I just posted to Linda -- same appreciation goes out to you. ((~.~))

joll43 05-17-2005 03:31 PM

Re: Roll-A-Bout v. Crutches

My Rolleraid came today - look it up - rolleraid, no spaces. I couldn't be happier with it, and I don't even need it until Friday. The difference between it and a roll-a-bout is that it's much sturdier - almost like a rolling walker. There are four wheels; the back two are close together and the front two are wide apart. There's a handy basket on the front and a cupholder. You hold on with both hands and there are two hand brakes. The cushion where you place your knee is wider than on the roll-a-bout, by an inch, I think, and it has memory foam. The company was awesome - I'm renting for $35/week and submitting to my insurance - it's $45/week if you want them to submit for you. They send instructions and a safety booklet as well as....packing tape for when you send it back to them - I thought that was such a classy move!

I'd checked out the roll-a-bout on Ebay and there are two right now, both at about $350 or so - I wasn't able to do it that way. The good thing about the rolleraid is that I've rented it for six weeks; if I end up not needing it for that long, I'll be reimbursed for the time I didn't use it!

As far as crutches go, it really depends how much upper body strength and coordination you have. I was fine on them, but my other foot was still okay. The only reason I'm using the rolleraid is because my first foot isn't completely better yet, which means my ankle and knee are still weak - too weak to handle crutches full time.

I'm so psyched about my rolleraid, can you tell?

Gourmet Gayle 05-17-2005 06:11 PM

Re: Roll-A-Bout v. Crutches
[FONT=Comic Sans MS](FONT=Comic Sans MS)xxx(/FONT)[/FONT][COLOR=Magenta][COLOR=Magenta]xxx[/COLOR] [/COLOR][FONT=Comic Sans MS][COLOR=Magenta]Joll43 .... Your response just sold me on doing whatever is necessary to arrange for one of those roller crutches before surgery. I'm not strong in upper body (former breast cancer) therefore need all the help I can get "mobility wise" I think the idea of rental v. purchase would be a better investment, which ever contraption I go with
and if Medicare helps out, that would be aswome. I'm only on 2nd day of this Healthboard and have already found it incredibly supportive with invaluable tips & information. Any post op secrets you have to share about exhisting in confinement for those of us non weight bearing and tied to the bed post would be great. Must admit, I'm concerned about hygein, getting to the bathroom etc -- I know it's minor, but when left alone for any period of time and a full bladder, --- am sure you get the idea! That and not being able to get from one end of house to another, my garden or eee gads... much less drive. Will keep watching for your progress after Friday, --- and send prayers.
Thanks again for your advise and kind words. GG ((~.~))

rollargirl 05-17-2005 09:21 PM

Re: Roll-A-Bout v. Crutches
Sue or Joll43 or someone--Do you remember the post op suggestions (a long and very helpful list) from late last year or early this year? I'm having trouble finding it and there were so many great suggestions there for GGayle and others having surgery for the first time. Could one of you pull it up to the top or tell me how to find it. I tried but didn't have much luck.
Thanks, Linda

GG--I'm a breast cancer survivor too and there's no way I could have done crutches for 3-4 months.

Sue you must really be buffed!!!!!!

feetfirst 05-18-2005 05:14 AM

Re: Roll-A-Bout v. Crutches
oops - wrong thread!

nwill 05-18-2005 07:22 AM

Re: Roll-A-Bout v. Crutches
I used the Roll-A-Bout and crutches. The Roll-A-Bout was a Godsend when I was at home - it gave me more flexibility and my hands free to get stuff done, including just trying to do my hair and makeup. However, I kept it and used it strictly at home. When I left the house, I used my crutches. Although the crutches were hard and very exhausting, I found them easier then carting the Roll-A-Bout everywhere. I did find that my arms got stronger and my entire body lost some weight and firmed up from the workout I got from the crutches. However, crutches are NOT for everyone - they are very difficult.

I am now weight-bearing with a boot until June 6 - I'm seeing the light at the end of the tunnel!

Also, check with your insurance company on the Roll-A-Bout. My insurance payed all but $24.00 of the cost. My rental was $130/month.

joll43 05-18-2005 08:24 AM

Re: Roll-A-Bout v. Crutches

I tried to find that other thread too - it was called, "Submit your post-op tips" - and I didn't see it either! That's the good one.....will keep looking.

Gayle -
Do you have anyone who can help you at least for the first few days? That helps immeasurably - even a friend who can make sure you don't fall or anything getting to the bathroom. Right after my surgery I used a rolling office chair to get to the bathroom instead of crutches - used my good leg to transfer from bed to chair and rolled there. Good rule of thumb: exercise the foot/leg that WON'T be having the surgery as soon/as much as you can - you'll be relying on it so much and while it'll naturally get much stronger throughout post-op, it truly can't hurt to get a head start.

Hygiene-wise, I waited a week or so before taking an actual shower - it was my first surgery of any kind and I was really scared of falling or bumping my cast - so I used moist wipes. It was totally fine and less stress than trying to get into the tub to shower before I was ready!

I'll keep trying to find that other thread.

Gourmet Gayle 05-18-2005 06:28 PM

A Huge Thank You To So Many Of You
I wish to express my sincere appreciation to all of you who responded to my recent questions about Roll-A-Bout v. crutches, also the helpful pre-op suggestions. Tomorow I see my doc. and hopefully he will help me decide which foot to have surgery on first. Last time, he said it was up to me ......
Right foot needs : mid-foot arthrodesis, both lower extremities with forefront reconstruction -- Left: lower extremity with a Well (metatarsal oblique shortening) ostectomy, with 2nd & 3rd hammertoe reconstruction. I will also need distal tibial bone graft -- Those were the words he used to describe and assess my "plan" in the medical notes which I requested a copy of. Unfortunately most all is GREEK to me. All I know is that a Bunectomy will be needed on left foot, and reconstruction of the right, because of advanced osteoarthritis. AND I'LL BE BED REST ONLY 'NWB' each surgery for an undefinate amount of time. BOTH feet need equal attention, as they give me constant pain. I'm thankful for recent Cortizone shots in the right foot, which have enabled me to maintain mobility.
Will ask him to explain in lay terms more tomorrow -- in the meantime, do any of you out there have a clue what is involved from the medical description I just shared? I'm of the school that KNOWLEDGE IS POWER, and also believe in QUESTIONING AUTHORITY (used to have a bumper sticker !!) Be assured I'm GLUED to this board... It's my link to information & support for the upcoming NOT SO PLEASANT 'WALK IN THE PARK' operations. GG ((~.~))

Jo Holmes 07-04-2005 09:59 PM

Re: Roll-A-Bout v. Crutches
:wave: Hi everyone...I am not used to this message board so this is to the people who were talking about the rollerbout vs crutches. I had ostectomy and other foot work the same time on June 29. I had rented a "Rolleraid" which has been a God send! :angel: I found it on the internet and ordered it from Spokane, Washington. The people there are wonderful and got it to my house before surgery just so I could get used to it. Even the very first day of surgery I was able to go anywhere in the house I wanted to. I cannot get the hang of crutches at all, but the rolleraid lets me just go anywhere.

There is a difference between the "Rollerbout" and the Rolleraid". I got the Rolleraid because it has a basket in front so you can carry your goodies around and always (the best part) the wheels swievel which makes it so easy to handle. If anyone is interested in renting a Rolleraid before surgery, they could go to their site which is

The people there are also very good to work with regarding your insurance, etc.

I have to go back to the doctor in Nashville, TN this Thursday for a checkup. I wish he would take an x-ray and tell me that my foot is healing very fast :bouncing: That would make me so happy.

Gourmet Gayle 07-05-2005 08:41 AM

Re: Roll-A-Bout v. Crutches
Hi Jo: Am glad you find the RollerAid as useful as I do. I couldn't master the art of crutches either - and have found the RollerAid to be the best mode of transit for those of us who have TEMPORARY SPECIAL NEEDS {hate the word "handicapped"} I'm told I'll be non weight bearing for 10 weeks post op: One down, 9 to go, as I had total foot reconstruction. One thing I have learned with the Roller Aid, is that you always need to be aware of your foot - especially when backing up and turning, so as not to bump into a wall or anything else. Sometimes I think I should have a red flag attached to the end of my foot just to alert those around me to WATCH OUT. I go to the doctor today for my first post op check up. Let me know how your visit goes, and good luck to you. GG ((~.~))

joll43 07-05-2005 09:45 AM

Re: Roll-A-Bout v. Crutches
I loved my Rolleraid - when I was done with it and packed it up to send it back, I was so sad! It gave me so much independence when I was home alone!!!

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 12:01 PM.