On October 2nd, I wrote a post about how to prepare for your first external fixator. One of the items I recommended was a new set of replacement crutch tips for the low, low price of $8.99.
I received my new extra large crutch tips on Wednesday, the 5th. Eight days later, the replacement tips were dangerously unusable.
Please keep in mind that I don't do much on my crutches. The most activity I see in a day is racing for the remote control on the other side of the couch when Grey's Anatomy comes on.
I have to make sure the volume is up high enough for me to follow TV's most compelling prime time drama.
I had two problems on each tip. The first problem was a minor tear in the grip. While this isn't terrible, these kinds of tears make it more important to keep your center of gravity over the points where your crutch tip meets the ground.
I'm not sure how I got this tear so quickly. I crutch on carpet, tile, hardwood floors, and rarely, sidewalks.
Here's problem number two. This is the most dangerous type of crutch tip break down. It highlights the importance of examining your crutches every morning and evening.
When the crutch tube is poking through the tip, you've lost all grip. At any moment, you could place too much faith in the gripping ability of your tips and end up having the crutch slip out from underneath you.
You could fall on your ex-fix or, hurt your other ankle, or even worse, injure your dignity.
Do not buy these replacement tips. They are terrible. I should have read the review, "Do Not Buy - They wore out in one week," before buying these tips. That guy was right. All it took was one week.
Instead of getting these replacement tips, ask your friends for piggyback rides.
This is my good friend Alison giving me, a 6'3" 215 lbs. (all lean muscle) man a piggy back ride on a bet that she couldn't carry me 30 feet. This is the same Alison that won the inaugural Injured Tony Award. To Alison's credit, she dominated it and carried me the entire distance.
The ironic and funny part of the story -- Alison injured her ankle.
Oh, no. Stop right there. She didn't injure it while giving me a piggyback ride. That would make sense.
No, she injured her ankle after trying to give me a high five to celebrate her performance. She had a poor landing on the way down from slapping skin. Perhaps I held my hand too high, or maybe she tweaked something during the piggybacking.
Whatever the reason, the lesson of this story is very clear: Alison is terrible at high fives, so don't buy these replacement crutch tips.