Those looking to buy their first pair of crutches may not be aware that there are two different types of crutches, and that they have some major differences. Underarm crutches, also called auxiliary crutches, are the most common type of crutch- these are the typical crutches assigned to patients in recovery from ankle or knee injuries. They have a pad that is held under the arm, pressed into the patient's side during use. The other major type of crutch is the forearm crutch, also known as the elbow crutch. These crutches have an open cuff that grips the user's forearm during use. The differences are not merely in design – the two different types of crutch have different strengths and weaknesses. Which type you choose should depend on your individual needs.