Is There a Difference Between a Knee Scooter and Knee Walker?

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There is really no difference between these two mobility aids, and the terms knee walker and knee scooter have been used interchangeably.

For convenience’s purposes, I will be using a knee walker to explain more about this mobility aid. Again, they are just the same.

This post contains affiliate links, and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links.

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What’s the Difference Between a Knee Scooter and Knee Walker? 

What Are Knee Walkers? 

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Knee Walkers are used for people who cannot walk due to injury or illness. They can be used by those with arthritis or other joint problems.

The main function of a knee walker is to help users move around their homes or school. They are usually made from plastic or metal and fold up when not used.

They are highly recommended mobility aids, (1) especially in overweight, middle-aged individuals who have difficulty walking due to conditions mentioned above,

These may be used in patients recovering from surgical procedures such as ankle surgery and foot surgery.

These devices allow you to rest the knees of your injured leg, which should be kept free from bearing weight, on a knee pad while holding on to the handlebars for support.

They have wheels and look pretty much like a trainer bicycle, so the injured person can move around with much effort.

Check our guide if you want to know how to use a knee walker and scooter.

In a study (2) done in 2016, it was shown that patients who use knee scooters, especially those with at least one underlying health condition, experienced better mobility compared to those using axillary crutches.

This is probably because much weight is placed around the arms with axillary crutches, so patients get exhausted when made to move around.

With a knee walker, weight is placed on the uninjured leg, which the patient can then move around. 

Added support from the handlebars makes it easier for the individual to maintain balance during movement.

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What Are Knee Scooters?

A knee scooter is a mobility aid designed to help people safely get around their home or community. They are usually lightweight and foldable, making them easy to transport.

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They come in different sizes and shapes depending on the user’s needs.

The most common types are manual models, powered models, and electric models.

Manual models are operated by hand and require some strength to operate. Motors and batteries drive powered models. Electric models are battery-powered and do not need any external power.

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Check our review of the best knee scooters.

When Should You Use a Knee Walker Instead of a Scooter?

There are several situations where a knee walker is a good choice over a knee scooter.

One situation is if you have had previous surgeries on your legs. You might prefer having a scooter that requires less physical exertion in movement. 

Another could be when you broke a bone and need assistance walking; a knee walker would be more appropriate. Knee walkers are used for ankle or knee injuries. 

You will need to be careful about what type of knee walker you choose because each is for specific needs.

Here are more tips for using a knee scooter!


Do doctors recommend the use of knee scooters?

Yes. Doctors recommend using knee scooters, especially for heavy individuals, since this gives them more freedom of movement than axillary crutches.

Are knee scooters safe to use?

Although there are reported injuries on knee scooters, these are very minimal. Generally speaking, knee speakers are safe to use.

What is a knee scooter called?

It is also a knee coaster, knee cruiser, knee caddy, orthopedic scooter, or leg walker.

In Conclusion,

Knee walkers are mobility aids used for lower injuries sustained in the lower leg. These can be used as an alternative to crutches. Examples of lower leg injuries include a broken foot and a knee injury.

Knee scooters are mobility aid used for physically impaired persons or cannot walk independently. 

Knowing when to use it is imperative to avoid wasted costs. This guide assisted you in knowing when to use which to avoid future confusion. 

senior holding her knee in pain

Do you prefer a knee walker or a knee scooter? Let us know below!


  • 1. Rahman R, Shannon BA, Ficke JR. Knee Scooter–Related Injuries: A Survey of Foot and Ankle Orthopedic Surgeons. Foot & Ankle Orthopaedics. 2020;5:247301142091456.
  • 2. Kocher BK, Chalupa RL, Lopez DM, Kirk KL. Comparative Study of Assisted Ambulation and Perceived Exertion With the Wheeled Knee Walker and Axillary Crutches in Healthy Subjects. Foot & Ankle International. 2016;37:1232–7.

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