II. Indications

  1. Mobility for patients lacking leg strength, balance or endurance to allow for walking with Ambulatory Devices

III. Background

  1. Wheelchairs typically have anti-tipping prevention to prevent flipping chair onto back
  2. Ultralight Wheelchairs and folding Wheelchairs are available for portability and storage
  3. Covered by medicare IF required to perform Activities of Daily Living within the home
  4. Wheelchairs are highly adjustable for patient fitting
    1. Proper, professional Wheelchair fitting (e.g. physiatry/PMR, physical therapy) is critical to prevent Pressure Sores
    2. Fitting includes leg and arm rests, back angle, Wheelchair width and height, proper seat cushion

IV. Types

  1. Manual Wheelchair
    1. Manually propelled chairs with patient rotating circular outer hand rails to move the chair
    2. Requires significant upper body strength and coordination
  2. Power Wheelchair
    1. Electrically Powered Wheelchairs for those without sufficient arm strength and coordination to self power the chair
    2. Requires recharging of Wheelchair battery
    3. Backup Manual Wheelchair recommended for power outages and portability
    4. Wide variety of available chairs
      1. May be controlled by hand, foot and even mouth
      2. Seat may be electrically raised and lowered on some models
  3. Mobility Scooter
    1. Less expensive and less heavy than a Wheelchair
    2. Difficult to use within home or tight spaces due to greater turn radius (better for outdoor mobility)
    3. Less customizable to individual patients than a Wheelchair

V. Adverse Effects

  1. Pressure Sores
    1. Proper wheelchiar fit is critical

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