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Wheelchairs

Footrests

The footrest and legrest support protect the lower leg and feet. If they are too high they decrease the weight carried through the back of the thighs and can cause increased pressure over the buttock region. If they are two low they can cause pressure over the posterior thighs and cause problems with clearing barriers in the environment such as incline transitions. The suggested height of the footrest from the floor is two inches. Removable footrests are helpful for transferring users in and out of the chair. One may wish to remove one or both of the footrests at different times. A good example for such a need is when assisting a person who has had a stroke. They may want to leave a footrest on to support a weak or paralyzed leg and keep the other footrest off so that the strong leg can assist in propelling the chair. A person with an amputation or a person who chooses to use both feet to propel a chair may also wish to remove the footrests. It is important to remember in these situations that the footrest does help provide balance to the wheel chair and can act as a safety guard against forward tipping. Elevating footrests can be useful for controlling swelling or to temporarily support an injured limb. With the footrest in this position the chair becomes longer and therefore can be harder to maneuver. The elevated footrest can also create balance problems and an increased risk of tipping accidents and therefore should be used with caution.

Additional topics

Medicine EncyclopediaAging Healthy - Part 4Wheelchairs - Frames, Seats, Backrest, Arm Rests, Footrests, Wheels, Safety, Power Mobility - Cost, Clothing guards