Hands Free Knee Scooter RollerFoot
I am starting this blog to discuss a new idea of completely HANDS-FREE mobility provided by our innovative product, a hands free knee scooter – RolleFoot. I actually prefer to describe RollerFoot as a big skate. See pictures and videos on our website www.rollerfoot.com and on YouTube channel dolexpa3
Steerable Knee Scooters
Most of you are familiar with the knee scooters or knee walkers that patients use for mobility during the non weight bearing period. Yes, those bulky carts on big wheels with a handle bar that you have to cling to with both hands, they also have a cute little basket and brakes. Clearly, those knee walkers are derived from the old person walker’s idea and the stigma will always be there. On the other hand they are certainly better than crutches and provide some help, but they are too big and clumsy and we can do much better.
The issue with the steerable knee walkers is that they are designed as TRANSPORTATION, a VEHICLE with which the patient must be fully engaged to operate and steer with both hands (they all boast about being steerable. Non-steerable knee walkers I don’t even want to discuss, so pathetic they are). Some even sport dual disc brakes like rugged mountain bikes, some knee scooters are even good for high speed racing. But how functional are they for the daily living?
A patient after surgery needs just a few simple things like:
- elevated foot at all times
- smooth carrying around of that foot without shaking or swinging
- moving himself from the bed to the bathroom (small confines)
- dressing him(her)self
- taking a cup of coffee from the sink to the table and back
- helping family members (children) with simple tasks
- staying somewhat active, ect.
Notice: all basic everyday tasks require the use of BOTH HANDS; and we function mostly in the small areas of a house or apartment.
Advantages of the RollerFoot
RollerFoot was based on a totally different concept – a skate. Unlike walkers-carts to which you hold on to – a skate is attached to your leg and becomes part of it. You operate (steer, if you like) RollerFoot with your leg, or knee, which makes your both hands free to do other useful things.
The RollerFoot is simply an extension of your injured leg. Its four wheel base is big enough to provide stable support, but small and light enough not to interfere with your skating movements.
People often question RollerFoot safety. Let’s talk about that.
Are crutches safe? Are walkers for old people safe? Wheelchairs, motorized scooters are completely safe? No falls or accidents with knee scooters? Shall we pull the statistics? Of course not!
No device is completely safe or absolutely dangerous. All depends on the operator. It is the operator who is dangerous to himself or others with a particular device, or, on the other hand, he is quite comfortable with a piece of equipment.
So, the task is to assess the ability of a particular patient to operate a device with a minimum amount of risk. Most patients, let alone medical professionals, have enough common sense to know their own abilities and the level of risk they are wiling to take with certain devices and activities.
RollerFoot is obviously intended for use by physically able people. The number of those who are in this category is surprisingly large. You would be surprised to know that the average age of the RollerFoot customers is around 50 and 70% are women.
Problem with the Steerable Knee Scooters/Walkers
The steerable knee walkers look safe, but are they really? The “magical” safety feature handle bar is in fact its worst enemy. Look, the handle bar is a huge lever that causes to easily tip over the machine. When the patient is loosing balance, he will push the handle bar sideways. The taller the handle bar the easier to overturn the scooter. To fight the handle bar capsizing ability requires wider distance between the wheels, which makes the scooter heavy and bulky.
Don’t be fooled that the steerable knee walker looks like a bicycle. It’s not!
The bicycle gets its sideways stability in motion from the force of its two huge rotating wheels. It can lean in the direction of a fall to maintain dynamic balance, and turns using the effect known as “counter steering”.
The steerable scooter platform has four tiny caster wheels, it cannot lean by definition, so it stays vertical in turns. In fact the faster the platform moves the less stable and dangerous for the rider it becomes in turns. In turns while moving, the centrifugal force is pushing the patient sideways. The person instinctively holds on to the handle bar stronger, thus creating an overturning momentum to the platform, which may result in a fall. In fact, these scooters are known to cause falls while turning.
So it is best used standing. But then, what’s the point?