Crutches: FSA Eligibility
Under IRC 213(d)(1), "medical care includes amounts paid for the diagnosis, cure, mitigation, treatment, or prevention of disease, or for the purpose of affecting any structure or function of the body." This includes medical equipment, supplies and devices.
What are primary types of crutches?
Crutches are mobility aids used by individuals who have experienced injuries below the waist and need additional support to walk comfortably as their injury heals. These devices are extremely helpful during the recovery process from broken bones, muscle sprains and tears, and bouts of chronic pain, and crutches can ease the daily stress on these areas to promote healing and prevent further complications (eMedicineHealth).
Crutches are available in a variety of styles to suit personal preferences and the nature of the injury itself, which include via LIVESTRONG:
- Underarm: This is the most common crutch type in the U.S., which is used by placing the top padded portion underneath the armpits and holding the grips to walk forward. These crutches require very little training to use, but they need to be adjusted beforehand to the user's height to avoid discomfort.
- Platform: Individuals who do not have adequate strength in their wrists due to conditions like arthritis, cerebral palsy and others are better suited to platform crutch use. As opposed to grips, the arm will rest on the crutch's horizontal platform where it is strapped in place to ease strain on the wrists.
- Forearm: During the instances when an individual has weakness in both legs or an injury afflicting both appendages, forearm crutches can provide stability with partial weight-bearing support. These crutches feature cuffs that are placed over the forearm to enhance the wearer's balance and openings to be able to slip out of the crutches in the event of falls.
- Leg Support: In cases when an injury affects a person's lower leg, these non-traditional crutches do not require the use of the arms and hands and straps the injured leg into a support frame. This frame will keep the leg clear of the ground while transferring the weight onto the wearer's knee or thigh.