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Recovery Guide: Bunionectomy

What Is It?

Bunions are most commonly known as the bony protrusion that occurs at the base of the joint of the big foot. This protuberance is also affiliated with a fluid filled sac resulting from friction and inflammation known as a “bursa”.  Therefore a bunion could imply both. However, a bunion is also associated with a “hallux valgus” deformity, a condition in which the big toe is deviated from it’s normal anatomical position and leans towards the second toe of the foot. As a result the anatomy of the big toe is disrupted and causes great discomfort and pain for the patient, though sometimes bunions can be painless and present the patient with a more cosmetic discomfort. Since the joint flexes with every step that we take, more severe deformity can result in more severe pain. If left untreated the bunion can affect the patient’s ability to walk. Dorsal bunions (bunions on the top aspect of the toe) are also possible and don’t result in valgus of the big toe. These are typically the result of arthritic changes in the joint and are not as frequent. When bunions do occur, they are usually appear on the big toes of both feet.


Bunions and hallux valgus has been associated with improper footwear. Wearing tight and uncomfortable shoes for prolonged periods of time can result in the formation of a bunion and deformity. However, though tight footwear is associated with occurrence and level of severity of hallux valgus, it is not the only cause. Heredity can play a role resulting in bunions occurring in very young individuals, typically adolescents (you might hear it referred to as an adolescent bunion). In most cases bunions first surface in middle aged men and women. Some doctors believe that tight shoes might not be the source of bunions, but rather they enhance their onset and level of severity. Bunions are predominant in women with about half of all American women suffering from the condition.


Fortunately, bunions can be treated conservatively by wearing wider footwear. There are times though when surgical intervention is needed. If patients allow their hallux valgus to progress by consistently wearing tight shoes, the deformity can induce instability of the toe joints and pain in the second toe as well. If left untreated, the second toe can begin to be deformed as well. The bunion would have to be removed surgically and the joints and ligaments realigned to correct the deformity and restore stability. Procedures vary depending on the surgeons preferences and on the patients etiology. For a simple bunion removal the protrusion is removed and/or shaved down. Though if a deformity is present it is advised that this is corrected as well otherwise the patient runs the risk of recurrence. Internal fixation is typically used to realign the bone and hold it in place while it heals. Sometimes the joints need to be fused depending on the level of arthritic pain that is present. Ligaments and other soft tissue might need to be cut and rearranged in order to restore proper anatomic alignment to the bones.

Healing Time

Because treatments can vary, the course of healing can vary as well. Patients with minimal deformity or having a simple excision can possibly be partial weight bearing the day of surgery, while other times it might take up to 2 weeks until they are able to weight bear. These individuals will most likely be back in shoes in less than two months. For more severe corrections, patients will have to wear a cast for up to eight weeks post-op. These Patients might not be back into shoes for three months. Most bunion surgeries are same day surgeries meaning that you could be discharged and home later that day. They almost always require a non-weight bearing mobility device such as a knee scooter.


Disclaimer: The information compiled in this guide was taken from sources made available to the public and from consultation with orthopedic surgeons. We are not medical professionals and do not regard ourselves as experts. Always listen to the instructions given by your doctor first and foremost. However, we encourage patient education and recommend that you research your injury further. Your medical institution website may have further useful information. Otherwise please check our list sources for more detailed reading.






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Recovery Guide: Ankle Arthrodesis (Fusion)

What Is It?

An arthrodesis in the truest sense of the word means a joint fusion, hence why in lay terms an ankle arthrodesis is known as an “ankle fusion.” A joint is comprised up of the ends of two pieces of bone, ligaments (which hold the bones together), tendons (which attaches muscle to the bone), and cartilage (which cushions our joints). In a nutshell, it’s a surface where two bones connect. Joint classification and composition can vary, but this is the simplest description. The two main bones that comprise the ankle joint are the tibia (long bone of the lower leg) and the talus (the ankle bone). Together they form the surface which allows you to pull your foot up or down. The ankle joint however is actually quite complex and other structures help to provide stability while standing and with movement (such as the fibula and ligaments).


Most importantly, wedged in this gap between the talus and tibia is cartilage. Cartilage provides the cushioning in the joint and allows for ease of movement. Cartilage cannot be grown back so overtime it wears down. The more active an individual is the quicker and more aggressive becomes the degeneration of cartilage.  Degeneration of cartilage leads to arthritis, a condition of pain within the joints. Since there is no cartilage to cushion the bones, they grind together which causes pain, swelling and inflammation. Sometimes range of motion becomes limited as a result. Increasingly severe levels of pain are typically symptomatic of advanced levels of arthritis.

Different Types of Arthritis

However it is important to point out there are many different types of arthritis. The arthritis that is described above is known as osteoarthritis, but you might see it abbreviated as OA for short. There are other factors that contribute to OA, such as heredity and obesity, but OA is most significantly a mechanistic condition that results in the wearing down of cartilage overtime. Sometimes a patient develops OA due to a severe injury to the joint that damages the cartilage or destroys it entirely (also known as post-traumatic arthritis). In comparison, Rheumatoid arthritis (RA for short) is an autoimmune disease that results in the destruction of cartilage by the body’s own immune system. RA and OA are the two most common types of arthritis. If patients are signed up for an ankle fusion, it’s usually because they are faced with late stages of arthritis; typically OA. Therefore, patients presenting for an ankle fusion are usually in their mid forties and older.

By fusing the ends of the talus and tibia together, the joint is effectively eliminated. You lose the ability to move your foot up or down, but with no joint present the bones no longer grind into each other resulting in the absence of pain. In addition, some patients presenting for ankle fusion lack sufficient stability in their joints, which is remedied by fusing the bones together. The procedure varies with the surgeon’s technique, but typically the ends of the bone are first shaved off to create a flat surface. Then, the ends are fused together with internal fixation (such as screws, rod or plate) or external fixation, or sometimes a combination of both. Healing time for a healthy individual should be about three months, though age and other existing medical conditions can also factor into healing time. Smoking and diabetes for example are known to have an impact on healing. Therefore, depending on the forces at play, healing could take anywhere from 3-6 months. Sometimes factors like smoking and diabetes can result in complications such as failure to heal or misaligned healing. This could lead to the need for a revision of the fusion or more aggressive treatments, such as the injection of bone marrow to help stimulate healing.


Recovery is usually straight forward. Patients are expected to be non-weight bearing for the first few months of their treatment. Their surgeon will check on their healing progress periodically and will guide the patient to progress to partially weight bearing when appropriate. For the typical patient, this could be between one and a half to two months post-op, though again this varies per individual. For patients who have been fused with internal fixation, it might be possible to remove the hardware down the road. This all depends if the hardware becomes painful, or based solely on the patients preference. A lot of times the hardware can stay in without impacting the surgical outcome.

Another possible outcome of having an ankle fusion is arthritis of the neighboring joint. Fusing the tibia and talus together can have an impact on the other joints that make up the foot and ankle and could lead to arthritic changes. This varies with the patient’s level of activity. More aggressive patients run the risk of wearing the neighboring joint out. It is possible to fuse these joints as well, though again at the expense of motion. There are many types of joint fusions that are possible in the foot and ankle and all depend on the symptoms that the patient presents with. A patient may even need to have several joints fused at the time of their ankle fusion.

Tibo-Talor Fusion

A fusion of the tibia and talus is also known as a tibo-talor fusion or TT-fusion for short. However, depending on the status of the talus (whether it’s healthy or damaged or not) it might have to be removed. This leads to an alternative type of ankle fusion known as a tibo-calcaneal fusion, or TC-fusion. This is a fusion of the tibia and heel bone, otherwise known as the calcaneus. This type of fusion typically results in a significant shortening of bone which leaves the patient with a leg length discrepancy. However, this could be remedied with a shoe lift. In addition, by fusing the heel, the patient’s range of motion is further decreased by eliminating the joint that is responsible for side-to-side swinging motion of the foot. If the patient’s talus is healthy, but they also have arthritic heel pain, they may receive a TTC-fusion which stands for tiob-talor-calcaneal fusion. Here all three joints are fused and eliminates all motion in the foot at the expense of being pain free.

Healing Time

Healing time for a TCC and TC-fusion are about the same for a TT-fusion; somewhere between 3-6 months depending on the patient. Full recovery can take anywhere from 4-9 months. 

Almost always these operations require a non-weight bearing mobility device such as crutches or a knee walker.

Disclaimer: The information compiled in this guide was taken from sources made available to the public and from consultation with orthopedic surgeons. We are not medical professionals and do not regard ourselves as experts. Always listen to the instructions given by your doctor first and foremost. However, we encourage patient education and recommend that you research your injury further. Your medical institution website may have further useful information. Otherwise please check our list sources for more detailed reading.





Where Can I Buy a Knee Walker?

Let’s face it: you’re not exactly thrilled by the prospect of spending the next eight to twelve weeks wobbling around on crutches.  You’ve already suffered through the pain of an ankle injury or foot surgery – why do you have to be punished with those medieval torture devices?

Never fear, knee walkers are here.  If you’ve never heard of knee walkers before (also known as roll about scooters and seated scooters), get ready to meet your new best friend during your recovery period.  Roll about scooters are unique mobility devices that allow you to isolate your broken foot or ankle, while providing you with a more stable (and pretty cool) way to get around.  Knee walkers look a bit like those scooters that kids are always rolling around on; however, a cushioned seat allows you to kneel onto the pad, using your good foot to push yourself forward.

Knee scooters are an undeniable source of comfort and convenience, especially if you’re afraid of falling or slipping on crutches.  But when it comes to buying a knee walker, you might feel like you’re searching for the mythical unicorn.  Don’t worry: with Knee Walker Central, you’ll be able to buy your own roll about scooter faster than you can queue up a must-watch list on Netflix.


This frees up your time so you can focus on what really matters – planning out what you’ll do with your freedom once your foot heals!

  1. Choose your preferred knee walker model from  If you’re not sure what type of knee walker you need – or want – take a look at the reviews to see what others are saying.  You may need a lighter model if you have a two-story home, or you may want the security of a heavier, more solid roll about scooter.
  2. Check your insurance policy to see if your purchase can be partially (or even totally) covered by your health insurance.  To help narrow down your search, look for your policy’s code on crutch substitutes, which is HCPCS E0118.  This shows you how much you’ll be expected to pay out of pocket for your knee walker.
  3. See if it’s better to rent or buy from  Either way, you’ll get a great deal – but it may be worthwhile to buy your knee walker if you’re going to need it for a considerable length of time.  For example, renting makes sense if you’ll only need it for three months, but you’ll want to buy your roll about scooter if you’ll need it for six months or more.
  4. Check out, and select which shipping option you prefer. can ship to your home, office, and even the hospital.
  5. Heal!

Knee Walker Central is all about making your life easier by offering high-quality knee walker rentals and models at affordable rates.  Visit today and get ready to give your nasty crutches the boot!

Where Can I Rent a Knee Walker?

At first glance, it might seem like plain, old-fashioned crutches can save you a boatload of money, especially when you’re dealing with medical bills associated with your foot or ankle surgery.  But when you look beneath the surface, you’ll discover something a bit more sinister: crutches can actually be incredibly expensive.

Think about it this way: you’re more likely to injury yourself by slipping or falling on crutches.  You’re more likely to seek out additional medical attention associated with sore backs, shoulders and armpit blisters ( ::shudder:: ).  Even working becomes difficult with crutches – and if you need to be mobile for work, your paychecks might suffer as a result.

That’s why we encourage everyone and anyone to look into knee walker rentals.  Knee walkers (also known as knee scooters or roll about scooters) provide injured people with more stability and control than crutches – and they look pretty cool while doing it.  Knee scooters allow you to isolate the injured foot by placing your knee on a cushioned pad, and using your good leg to propel yourself around.  Basically, it’s like a hybrid of a bike and a scooter – and it’s a great way to ensure you can heal without getting armpit blisters.


At, we offer customers the opportunity to rent roll about scooters at reasonable rental rates.  This allows you to enjoy all the benefits of a knee walker without paying for a model, which may be more financially feasible.  Here are a few additional reasons why you should rent a knee walker at

  • We make renting incredibly easy.  All you have to do is select the scooter model you want, indicate how many weeks you need it, and confirm your order.  You’ll have your knee walker in mere days, delivered right to your home, office or hospital.
  • Our typical shipment dates range between one to three business days, so you won’t have to wait around all week for us.
  • Knee Walker Central offers hassle-free exchanges and returns; all you have to do is let us know what model you’d like instead and we’ll make it happen for you.
  • We work with you to help you get your rental covered by your health insurance policy.  This can help you keep more of your money where it belongs: in your wallet.

Let’s face it: when you’re suffering from a broken foot or ankle, you don’t want to deal with the hassle of crutches.  That’s why we invite you to discover why a rental at Knee Walker Central just makes financial and physical sense.

What Is A Roll About?

At first glance, a “roll about” might seem like a new type of dance move that all the young people are executing on the dance floor.  But don’t worry, you’re not behind the times in terms of dance moves (although they did lose you at “twerking”).   A roll about is simply a term that’s used to describe a knee walker, which is a mobility device that can help you get around without putting additional stress on your foot or ankle while it’s recovery from an injury or surgery.

Northrup Knee Walker

A roll about (also known as a knee scooter) looks like a cross between a kids scooter and a bike.  Three or four sturdy wheels are attached to a scooter frame, which features a cushioned pad.  When you kneel your bad leg onto the pad, you can use your good leg to push yourself forward, and your hands to steer the handles.  It’s a great way to ensure that you remain upright, which isn’t exactly the kind of promise you can get from crutches.

A roll about may look a little intimidating at first glance, but we promise, it’s surprisingly simple to use.  All you have to do is follow these steps:

  •  Make sure the knee walker is positioned for your height.  This involves raising the kneepad so that your hips are straight and level when you kneel onto the roll about.  If you keep re-adjusting your kneepad but can’t find an ideal position, you may need to get a model that’s specifically designed for your height.
  • Don’t tempt yourself by rolling along too fast.  As soon as you kneel onto your walker, you’ll notice how much easier it can be to move around.  But you’ll want to slowly get used to the mechanisms before you take it out for a test drive.  Get a feel for how sensitive the handbrakes are, and how much pressure you’ll need to apply on the handlebars to make those hairpin turns.
  • Get used to picking up the knee walker, which is crucial if you live in a home that has a staircase.  The more comfortable you are lifting your roll about scooter, the easier it will be to go up and down the stairs by yourself.

Roll about scooters are the best way to get around while you’re recovering from a foot or ankle surgery – and you’ll find the best models at Knee Walker Central.  Our online rental service makes it easier to find, order, and receive the perfect knee walker model.  With free exchanges, hassle-free returns, and affordable rental rates, it’s no wonder more people turn to Knee Walker Central for the best roll about scooters.

How to Make the Most of Your Ankle Fusion Recovery Time

You’ve been forced to rest for extended periods of time due to your ankle fusion – and you’re already bored out of your mind.  While an extended vacation at home might seem like a dream situation, the truth is that you don’t know what you’re going to do with yourself all this time.  You’ve already caught up on all your favorite TV shows.  You’ve already read so many books to the point where you feel like a book critic.  You’ve even tried getting into cooking, although limping around the kitchen certainly wasn’t the most successful experiment ever.

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In short, you’re looking for new ways to make the most of your ankle fusion recovery time – and you’re getting desperate.

Don’t worry – try out these ideas to make the most of your ankle fusion recovery.  You’ll be healed before you even know it!

  1. Love writing?  Start your own blog.  It can be about your ankle fusion recovery experience or you can just write about a favorite niche of yours.  Who knows – you may get enough followers to start doing the blog as a permanent hobby.
  1. Learn a new skill by taking an online course.  If you’re forced to lay on your couch for weeks at a time or can’t go to the gym every evening, why not spend this extra free time by learning a new skill or knowledge?  Whether you consider yourself a history buff or just want to know how to build a website, there are a ton of online courses you can take that can help you make the most of your ankle fusion recovery time. You can find a bevy of online courses at MIT OpenCourseWare (, Udacity ( and Coursera (
  1. Go out and about with the aid of a knee walker.  Believe it or not, you don’t have to resort to crutches to move around the house.  A knee walker is a unique mobility device that makes it easier than ever to move without putting your healing ankle at risk.  Your insurance company may even cover the cost of your knee walker, thanks to your ankle fusion surgery.

Make the most of your ankle fusion recovery time by putting these tips into practice!

Best Non-Weight Bearing Gifts For Your Injured Loved One

A loved one is recovering from an injured foot or ankle – and they’re feeling a bit down on themselves.  After all, if you had to spend your days on the couch or limping around the house, then you’d probably feel less-than-stellar as well.

Whether it’s your best friend or your family member, you want to give them a gift that will lift their spirits and remind them that recovery can actually be an enjoyable and relaxing experience.  These non-weight bearing gifts also make an excellent present for a birthday or holiday, so if a special day is coming up, you may want to consider giving any of these as a non-weight bearing gift:

A Reclining Lounge Chair:  Let’s face it – sitting down and relaxing on the couch can still be a challenge with a massive ankle cast attached to your loved one’s foot.  Therefore, you may want to consider giving the gift of a reclining lounge chair, specifically the HOMCOM New Green Zero Gravity Chair, which is a folding recliner patio and pool lounging chair that can be used outdoors.  Now your loved one won’t feel lift out during the next family barbeque or pool party.  Get your hands on this inexpensive non-weight bearing gift at Amazon.

A Back and Shoulder Massage: A gift certificate to a spa is a great gift for a loved one who’s suffering from a broken ankle or foot.  A back and shoulder massage is also perfect, as it isolates the leg and ankle.  For an even better gift, you could offer the back and shoulder massage in conjunction with the reclining lounge chair.

An Afternoon of Errands:  You don’t have to spend a great deal of money on a non-weight bearing gift – in fact, the best gift of all may be just offering to run errands for your injured loved one for the day.  Let your injured loved one know that you’ll be happy to buy them groceries, cook a week’s worth of meals, and drive them back and forth to work.  Your offer will certainly be appreciated! 

Check out these non-weight bearing gifts for loved ones, and discover a way to brighten their spirits while they’re recovering from foot or ankle surgery!

Best Meals to Prepare For Foot and Ankle Surgery Recovery

When it comes to preparing for foot and ankle surgery, you tend to focus on the basics.  You know you need to get your mobility device ahead of time.  You know you should move aside heavy furniture before you’re limited in terms of movement.  And you certainly know that you should have your friends and family members on stand-by to help you with everyday needs…

But when it comes to meal preparation, do you have a refrigerator stocked with healthy pre-made meals and beverages – or are you (pun intended) shooting yourself in the foot?

Man cannot live on delivery food alone – and unless you’re a college student, the thought of constantly eating pizza might get really old after the first few days.  Besides, ankle and foot surgery recovery requires that you should eat as healthy as possible. So if your plan relies on the constant appearance of your deliveryman, you might want to re-think your options.

Why Pre-Made Meals Are Vital to Foot and Ankle Surgery Recovery

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Pre-made meals are just as important to your surgery recovery as having a mobility device on hand.  Making your meals ahead of time ensures that you control the ingredients, which means you can eat much healthier than what’s available at your local Papa John’s.  When your body is in recovery, you need to fill up your plate with leafy greens, lean meats, and plenty of whole grains – and that’s just not something that’s available to you via delivery.

There’s another reason why prepared meals are so vital to ankle and foot surgery recovery.  When you’re lugging around a foot cast, the last thing you want to do is move around the kitchen gathering pots, pans and ingredients.  Plus, using crutches or any other mobility device might prevent you from full use of your arms and hands – which is obviously crucial to the cooking process!

Healthy Meals to Make Before Your Foot and Ankle Surgery

Whether you consider yourself a future Food Network star or you have trouble boiling an egg, here are a few healthy meals that anyone can make before your foot and ankle surgery:

Spinach, Tomato and Goat Cheese Pasta

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Grab some whole-wheat linguini and toss it in a pot of boiling salted water.  In the meantime, cut up a clove of garlic and sauté it in a pan with a splash of olive oil.  Once the garlic has browned, add a cup of quartered cherry tomatoes.  While that softens (it usually takes a couple of minutes), drain the pasta and add a cup of crumbled soft goat cheese.  Add two cups of spinach to the cook garlic and tomatoes until it’s wilted.  Add to the pasta, stir, and enjoy!

Simple Baked Chicken

Grab a pound of chicken breasts and cut each in half.  Layer a baking pan with aluminum foil and coat with a light cooking spray.  Lay out the chicken on the pan.  Drizzle olive oil on each breast.  Add salt, pepper, garlic powder, or any other kind of spice your heart desires.  Place in a preheated oven (400 degrees) and bake until cooked through (this usually takes about 20 to 25 minutes).  This baked chicken can be used in any meal, on salads, and even in sandwiches.

Roasted Green Beans

Cut off the tips of your green beans and place them in a plastic Tupperware container.  Lightly drizzle the green beans with olive oil and add a heaping spoonful of old-fashioned mustard.  Cover the Tupperware container and vigorously shake until all of the green beans are coated.  Place the green beans on a baking tray that’s been lined with aluminum foil and coated with cooking spray.  Place in a preheated oven at 350 degrees and bake for 8-10 minutes.

How to Shower with a Broken Foot

If you thought hobbling around with a broken foot was bad enough, you’ve yet to surmount the biggest challenge of all: learning how to shower with a broken foot (cue orchestra playing a wildly dramatic tune). Sure, you’ve been able to go a day or two after the foot surgery without taking a shower. But you can’t exactly get away with not showering for the duration of your recovery period…

Unless, of course, you want to isolate your family, friends, and loved ones with your interesting body odor!



There’s no getting around it: you need to learn how to shower with a broken foot. Luckily, you don’t have to go through painful trial-and-error to find out: you just have to read this article.

1. Enlist a family member or a very dear loved one who can help you manage the shower for the first few times after you’ve had the cast slapped on. This can help you get used to the movements necessary for getting in the shower without risking a dangerous fall.

2. Get yourself plenty of rubber bath mats to lay in the tub as well as on the bathroom floor. You want to minimize every possible risk that could cause you to fall, including those dangerous slippery tiles.

3. Get a shower stool. This handy device allows you to sit in the middle of the shower and get clean – without putting any weight on your broken foot.

4. Before you even get into the shower, put on a waterproof cast cover. Another option is a plastic bag that is taped it shut along the leg. You want to ensure that your entire foot cast is wrapped up in the cast cover or bag, which will prevent any water from soaking your foot cast.

5. Put a non-slip shoe on your good foot while you shower. Sure, it might look like the same type of shoe that your grandma wears to water aerobics, but trust us – it’s worth the mild fashion faux pas.

6. Clear the bathroom of any clutter that might cause you to trip and fall. We’re talking loose towels, bath mats, magazines – anything that might make your broken foot more of a permanent woe than a temporary injury.

Now that you’ve got your hands on these tips to shower with a broken foot, it’s time to cut your family or roommates a break and hop in the shower – pronto!


Non Weight Bearing Scooter Accessory Ideas

When you first received your non weight bearing scooter, you might have been a little less than impressed. Sure, it wasn’t a pair of crutches (what a relief!) but it still looked a little clinical for your tastes…and you want to do something to jazz it up. After all, you may have a broken ankle, but you don’t have broken spirits.

And you want to make your knee walker look a little more fashionable!


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If you’re ready to make your non weight bearing scooter as unique as you are, here are some accessory ideas that can make it shine:

• A knee walker basket can add a unique look while providing a heavy dose of functionality. This basket can be placed in the front of your knee walker, much like a basket on a child’s bicycle. You can carry groceries, books, and other items in your basket, which makes this accessory a pretty important part of your new and very fashionable non weight bearing scooter.

• See that picture above? That woman is turning her knee walker into a walking (well, scooting) advertisement for her patriotism! Consider letting the world know where you’re from by placing a heritage flag on your scooter. Or you could let your national pride take hold and hoist the Red, White, and Blue on your scooter.

• Kick back to the ‘90s and put a boom box in your knee walker basket. You could even bring back the best decade by playing music from that era. We’re talking Boyz II Men, Madonna, Backstreet Boys…we promise you’ll get smiles and cheers when you roll on by.

• Want to trick out your knee walker? Then consider going old-school – and by this, we mean getting bumper stickers and other labels that demonstrate your personality. You could slap on a bumper sticker that lets the world know you ran a marathon or one that indicates that you’re going to do some serious traveling once your foot has healed.

• Accessorize it however you want – after all, it’s YOUR knee scooter!

One important note – if you rented your knee walker, you should check with your vendor to make sure that you can make changes or tweaks to it without incurring a penalty. For example, a front basket will generally be considered fine, but you may run into some vendors who might not like the idea of having stickers on their scooters.

No matter which non weight bearing scooter accessory ideas you use, make sure that you select those that speak to your personality and style.