When Ciske lost mobility in her right leg and it fused in a flexed position, she was determined to continue walking independently and worked with a physiotherapist to adapt a pair of gutter crutches to meet her specific FOP needs. She and her therapist adapted the gutter platforms to rest at an angle that matched the angle of her fused arms (her right arm was more horizontal but her left arm still had mobility to reach further down toward her hip). Then, they had the brilliant idea to add the pedal of a wheelchair to her right crutch at just the right height so that the foot of her bent leg could have a solid surface to rest on and share some of the weight bearing responsibilities. This pedal attachment also added a bit more stability to Ciske’s balance when using the crutches. She wanted to share this clever adaptation with others in hopes that it might help someone else around the world with FOP or other physical disabilities return to a form of independent mobility. Watch the video below to see how Ciske is able to walk with her adapted gutter crutches. Well done Ciske!
Gutter crutches require a certain amount of strength, balance and mobility and may not be appropriate for someone with FOP who has lost significant mobility. Considerations for any mobility device should always be discussed with your doctor first. An Occupational or Physical Therapist can help evaluate your safety, measure you for crutch sizes and adjust the crutches to meet your specific needs once your doctor and therapist have both agreed that you are a safe candidate.