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New vs. Used vs. Rental Knee Scooter [Read Before Buying]

by Jessica Hegg March 14, 2017

Happy woman using knee scooter

Image Reference

Back in the day, if you had an injury to your foot, or ankle, the only option you had for non-weight bearing were crutches and putting your life on hold until you healed.

Luckily, those days are gone!

Say Goodbye to Uncomfortable Crutches

A knee scooter is, hands-down, your best alternative to crutches and makes maneuvering around with an injury way more convenient than ever! You're not required to put your life on hold, and you can rest your injured leg and carry on with your daily tasks.

A knee scooter is considered a medical device designed for support and mobility and there is a lot to consider.

-What are my buying options? New vs. used vs. knee scooter rental

-What design is right for me?

-How can I customize my knee scooter to fit my needs?

These steps will help answer your questions and guide you in making the right choice!

Step 1: New, Used, or knee scooter rental?

You have several options when it comes to choosing your knee scooter. You can buy one new, rent one, or buy one used. We think you’ll agree, that buying a new knee scooter might be your best bet for a smooth road to recovery, and here's why!

Purchasing New:

No Need to Rush Your Recovery

A knee scooter is intended for a short term recovery, but everyone heals differently. A rental agreement is usually 4-6 weeks on average, and pricing is contingent upon the length of time you use your knee scooter. If you own your knee scooter, you can heal at your own pace, without worrying about saving a buck by sending it back too soon and risking extending your recovery.

Get What Works for Your Lifestyle

If you’re buying your knee scooter, versus renting or finding one used, there are all kinds available. Therefore, you can choose something that suits your lifestyle. If you’re active, go for an all-terrain knee scooter with larger wheels. If you don’t plan on curbing your shopping, choose one with a basket to store all your essentials.

You Know What You’re Getting

Many knee scooters come with a guarantee, some even with a lifetime one, so if you’re buying new, you won’t have any worries about correcting any potential issues with your knee scooter.

Check with Your Insurance

Some insurance plans cover part of the cost of a knee scooter. Check to see if yours does.

A Great Return on Your Investment

Once you no longer need to use your knee scooter, you have a good chance of earning most of your investment back. Most say they can recoup up to 50-75% of their money.

    Buying Used:

    No Warranty

    A used knee scooter won't come with any warranty to protect against defects which makes for a riskier purchase.

    Choices may be limited

    Check the sites listed for selling a new knee scooter above (eBay, Craigslist, etc.). Some sellers have used ones for available at lower cost.  Options may not have all the bells and whistles you require or prefer

    Make Sure All Parts are Included

    Since you're buying used it's important to check that the knee scooter you are purchasing isn't missing any pieces.  Most come with assembly tools that allow you to make adjustments.

    Perform Your Own Quality Check

    Keep in mind that you’re buying a product as is when you acquire it used. Ask questions about how long it was used, and if you can try before you buy to make sure it is in good working condition and appropriate for your height, weight, and needs.

    **Quality is extremely important, being that you're already limited, a used knee scooter needs to be inspected for safety.

    Renting:

    Get More Advanced Model to Meet Specific Needs

    If you want all the bells and whistles, or require special features due to any limitations, you might be able to rent a higher priced knee scooter than you could afford to buy.

    If You Change Your Mind

    Some knee scooter rentals offer the option for rent to buy if you end up needing the knee scooter for longer than anticipated.  You can extend your rental period, or decide to put your payments towards owning the scooter yourself

    Brief Period of Time

    If you know you will not be needing your knee scooter for an extended amount of time consider renting.  Prices are lower for shorter rental periods.

    Options for Resale:

    • Loan to family and/or friends
    • Donate your knee scooter to a church, or someone else, and you might be able to write it off on your taxes as a donation
    • Sell your knee scooter
      • At a yard sale or at a consignment shop
      • Advertise in the newspaper, your church, or library
      • Online sites like eBay, Craigslist or Facebook sale pages.

    **Tips:
    - Online venues have a more targeted reach and a larger audience.
    - If you think you might resell, keep the packaging and other info

    Cost Analysis

    Options Up Front Cost Resale Value Bottom Line
    New $175 $85 - $125 $50 - $105
    Used $130 $80 - $100 $50 - $100
    Rental 1 month = $120 $0 $120


    Cheapest:

    If you’re looking for the cheapest option, purchasing a used knee scooter is the way to go.  You’ll receive the scooter at a discounted price and as long as condition remains good, you’ll average only a $90 total spent. Keep in mind you may find yourself compromising warranties, new condition, and peace of mind in purchase.

    No Hassle:

    A knee scooter rental may be your best bet if you’re not looking to own, resell, or store your scooter.  This is most likely the case if you will only require a knee scooter for a short period of time.  If you’re in need of a scooter longer than 1 month, we recommend looking into buying new or used.

    Best Value:

    Renting and buying used may be cheaper alternatives, but we believe that you will gain the most value by purchasing a new knee scooter. It may cost more of out pocket up front, but likely to receive a larger return. You’ll know your unit is is new and working condition and most companies will back their product with a warranty. You can’t put a price on peace of mind!

    Step 2: Decide on Your Design

    Factors to Consider When Selecting a Knee Scooter:

    • Height and Weight of the Person
    • Where will it be used?
      • Some knee scooters have thick treads for more accessibility to terrain
      • Traditional knee scooters have smaller wheels and are suitable for indoors and paved surfaces. Rocks or uneven cracks in the pavement could make them susceptible to tipping over
    • Do you require a basket or other special features?
      • To hold things such as your wallet, keys, phone etc.

    **Tips:
    If you’re looking for extra comfort, instead of a towel, consider buying a knee pad cover. A knee pad cover can provide extra comfort, air circulation around your leg, and prevent your leg from sticking to the pad or becoming irritated.

    Types of Knee Scooters:

    woman using knee scooter outside Image Reference

    Economy Knee Scooter

    • Compact design [can be folded for storage]
    • Single hand brake (can be adjusted for left or right hand)
    • Height adjustable handle and knee pad
    • Bare necessities

    Our Recommendation:
    We recommend this style for intermittent or short term use. The basic design is simple to use but leaves out all the bells & whistles of a typical knee scooter. It only includes the basic features that get you from point A to B.


    Traditional knee scooter

    Traditional Knee Scooter

    • Premium, heavy duty design with sturdy steel frame
    • Responsive braking- dual brake system for effortless braking
    • Height adjustable handlebars and knee platform for proper fit
    • Collapsible design for storage and transportation
    • Includes detachable bag for storing personal belongings
    • Contouring knee pad for comfort and proper support of injured leg.

    Our Recommendation:
    The traditional knee scooter design is the most commonly used and most recommended. This style is ideal for indoor use as well as outdoor use [along sidewalks and parking lots]. Great for travel and can fold easily to transport in and out of car


    All Terrain Knee Scooter Image Reference

    All Terrain Knee Scooter

    • Bulkier, industrial design
    • Single hand brake
    • Pneumatic tires for all terrains
    • Height-adjustable knee pad and handlebars
    • Storage basket for personal belongings
    • Foldable design for storage and transportation
    • All terrain wheels made for indoor and outdoor use

    Our Recommendation:
    We recommend the All Terrain Knee Scooter for maneuvering over outdoor surfaces (grass, dirt, gravel, etc.) or uneven pavement. Large 12-inch tires are designed to comfortably navigate over multiple terrains for easy use. These models usually run a little higher in price, but a knee scooter rental could save some costs here.


    3-Wheeled Knee Scooter Image Reference

    3-Wheeled Knee Scooter

    • Adjustable height for handlebars and knee pad
    • Includes large storage basket for personal belongings and cup holder
    • Smaller design with only 3 wheels-- convenient for use on either leg
    • Dual braking system for easy braking

    Our Recommendation:
    The three-wheeled knee scooter provides a wider front base and more narrow back end and is typically described as a more compact version of the traditional knee scooter design and is great for smaller spaces. The smaller frame does decrease the stability to a small degree, so we recommend this style for those who are confident riding and require less dependency.


    Grandmother and her grandson outside Image Reference

    Swivel Knee Scooter

    • 90-degree turn radius
    • 5-wheeled design with two rear wheels and three front for easy maneuvering
    • Storage basket included for personal belongings
    • Dual braking system along with parking brake
    • Good for small spaces

    Our Recommendation:
    The Swivel Scooter is best for anyone who will be maneuvering through more crowded work and living areas. The 5-wheel design allows for a 90-degree radius that makes change directions easy but will cost you around $500. We don't recommend this scooter if you're looking to get the most value from your purchase and feel that the tight turn radius does not justify the cost.


    Step 3: Customize your Scooter

    Available Knee Scooter Accessories:

    Depending on the knee scooter you choose, consider these additional add-on items to customize your ride!

    Knee Walker Pad Cover

    Image Reference

    Knee Walker Pad Cover

    -Provides additional support and comfort for injured leg and reduces pressure

    -Protects original knee surface from wear and tear (keeps good condition for potential re-sell)

    -Easy to remove and typically machine washable

    Cup Holder

    Image Reference

    Cup Holder

    -Convenient add-on that can be clipped to neck of handlebars

    -Adjustable fit to accommodate different models

    -Swivel function to keep holder out of way

    Storage Basket

    Image Reference

    Storage Basket or Bag

    -Convenient for carrying personal belongs

    -Most designs come equipped with one or the other, but available for individual sale in cases where neither are included or if you prefer the opposite

    Safety Headlight

    Image Reference

    Safety Headlight

    -Can be clipped onto handlebars

    -Increases safety, especially when maneuvering at night or in the dark. Provides better visibility and allows for you to be more visible to others.

    Additional Information on Knee Scooters

    Benefits:

    • Easier to learn to use than crutches
    • Improves quality of life be increasing mobility, stability and comfort.
    • Less fatigue
    • Strengthens muscles
    • Provides stability for balance
    • Least invasive mobility aid
    • Improves circulation by partial elevation which can result in less pain and swelling
    • Can use as a bench or footstool during rest
    • Most fold for transport or storage

    Knee Scooters can have three or four wheels. They feature a knee pad to rest your recovering leg on and have handlebars similar to a bicycle. You use a knee scooter by propelling yourself forward with your good leg.  Knee scooters are intended as a temporary solution for mobility as you recover from an injury, or surgery, to the foot, ankle, heel, lower leg, amputation, bunions or gout. It is not ideal for someone with issues of their supporting knee, or hip, for too much weight will be placed upon these joints. A knee scooter removes one leg from weight bearing, therefore, the other leg must be in good health, and have adequate strength, for balance.

    When to Consider a Knee Scooter:

    -Recovering from foot and ankle sprains or fractures

    -Healing Achilles tendon injuries

    -Surgery recovery

    How to Properly Use a Knee Scooter:

    Step 1: Firmly grip handle bars to stabilize the knee scooter

    Step 2: Bend your injured leg at a 90-degree angle and center it onto the knee pad surface

    Step 3: Weight is disrupted between shin portion resting on knee pad and your standing leg

    Step 4: Uninjured leg is placed on ground for balance and support

    Step 5: Use grounded leg to slowly push off and maneuver forward

    **Tips for using a knee scooter:

    - Start slow until you get your grips and become more comfortable
    - Keep off of steep inclines
    - Avoid uneven surfaces that may contain pebbles, grass, sand, rocks, or gravel ( if these surfaces are unavoidable, learn more about All Terrain knee scooters)

    When a Knee Scooter Isn’t the Best Gamble:

    (In some cases, a knee scooter is simply not the appropriate solution. Always consult with your doctor to clarify.)

    • Not intended as a long-term mobility solution
    • Not ideal for someone who doesn’t have good motor control
    • Certain health conditions or obesity may make use difficult or not recommended
    • Not intended for a person who does not have good balance, or who has a weak supporting leg
    • Weight can not be placed on knee
    • Knee is unable to bend at 90-degree angle

    We recommend that you do not rely solely on the information presented. Be sure to check for height and weight restrictions, and recommendations of the use of a knee scooter by your physician.

    Grab Your Knee Scooter & Roll Your Way to Recovery

    An injury, or surgery to your ankle, foot, or lower leg can be frustrating, but with the help of a good knee scooter, you don’t have to put your life on hold while you recover. Be sure to talk to your physician, to ensure you’re in good health to benefit from using a knee scooter, then once you do, pick out your new ride to rest your injured leg and you’ll be back on two feet in no time.

    Jessica Hegg
    Jessica Hegg


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