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 The present invention is directed to an assisted walking device. In particular, the present invention is directed to a device that combines the features of both a walker and a crutch.
 The purpose of a walker is to aid an individual who needs assistance in walking but can support himself to some degree with both his legs. It is a very stable arrangement, but awkward to move and limited in the upper body support provided. A crutch on the other hand is a simple support upon which a person can carry the entire load of a leg which cannot support any weight. Use of a crutch by a fit individual permits nimble and flexible movement. However, a crutch does not provide much stability.
 A crutch has the advantage of supporting the body at two places, usually at each arm. Support takes place at both the armpits and at the hands, which are preferably positioned so that the arms are fully extended and the elbows locked. This allows the arms to take a great deal of the weight so that the weight is partially distributed away from the armpits, which normally are expected to carry the majority of the weight. Distributing weight away from the armpits (using the arms and hands) is important since it is very easy for the user to have circulation cut off at the arm pits, suffer bruising, or even experience considerable pain from prolonged reliance upon crutch support at only the armpits. Crutches are usually meant for individuals who cannot support any weight on one leg but have substantial use of the other leg. An individual who is relatively fit can use a pair of crutches quite easily, and can have a wide range of movement due to the way that crutches are used. Stability is provided by three points of contact with the ground or substrate upon which the user travels. Nonetheless, the use of a crutch involves a great deal of instability while traveling since the weight of the body is swinging from only two points on the ground or substrate, and an individual must be reasonably fit to use crutches for any length of time.
 In contrast, a walker is usually stable. However, it is not a particularly effective device for supporting the user's weight at the upper body. Typically, a user must have some use of both legs in order to use a walker properly. The support provided by a walker is also vastly inferior to that provided by crutches since only the hands are used with a walker, and the placement of the handholds of the walker are not necessarily conducive to utilizing the full strength of the arms and upper body of the user. There is little capability for upper body weight distribution, as is true for crutches. Consequently, someone who is feeble may have trouble supporting themselves with a walker if one or more legs become substantially impaired to the extent that crutches would be appropriate. However, one who is somewhat limited in upper body strength (such as the elderly or the impaired), may have difficulty using a crutch if their legs are not sufficiently strong to utilize a walker. Accordingly, there are many who either constantly or occasionally require the benefits of both a crutch and a walker.
 Previous attempts at creating a combination crutch-walker have suffered various drawbacks. Examples of combination crutch-walkers are disclosed in the following U.S. Pat. Nos. 4,341,381; 3,195,550; 4,187,869; 130,283; 3,273,888; 2,732,004; 1,307,058; 906,845; and, 2,362,466. The techniques of all of these patents are incorporated herein by reference. Addressing the general limitations of all these designs is the focus of the present invention.
 Despite the advances disclosed in each of the subject patents, there are severe limitations with each design. The most common flaw of the conventional designs is that none of them permit the full advantages of both a crutch and a walker in the same structure. Some of the designs of the conventional art provide the ease and latitude of movement found with crutches, but introduce a level of instability that is inappropriate for walkers. Some of the walker designs provide crutch-like support structures without the full body support or ease of movement associated with conventional crutches. In some cases, a rather awkward structure results, hindering the movement of the user rather than facilitating it. In other cases, ease of movement has meant a lack of stability, as well as a lack of support for the user.
 Clearly, a need exists for a combination crutch-walker that provides the full advantages of both devices while introducing none of the disadvantages of either.
 It is an object of the present invention to overcome as many of the disadvantages of the conventional art as can be identified and properly addressed. In effect, the object of the present invention is to provide a new configuration for a crutch-walker that provides all of the advantages of both designs.
 It is a further object of the present invention to provide a crutch-walker combination that is both stable and fully supportive.
 It is another object of the present invention to provide a crutch-walker combination with an adjustable upper body support that is vertically adjustable to the proper height for a wide variety of users It is an addition object of the present invention to provide a crutch-walker combination with a stable and adjustable lower frame structure.
 It is another object of the present invention to provide a crutch-walker combination that maximizes the support and comfort of the user.
 It is yet a further object of the present invention to provide a crutch-walker combination that is closely adjustable to a wide range of user sizes.
 It is still a further object of the present invention to provide a crutch-walker combination that does not tip over during normal use.
 It is again an additional object of the present invention to provide a crutch-walker combination that fully utilizes the upper body support capabilities of the user.
 It is yet a further object of the present invention to provide a crutch-walker combination that is easy to maneuver while remaining extremely stable during all phases of use.
 It is again another object of the present invention to provide a crutch-walker combination that allows easy control by the user so that the device is easily moved or stopped at the discretion of the user.
 These and other objects are achieved by a combination crutch-walker having a body support device that provides weight distribution for the user by extending the user's arms and locking the user's elbows. Also included is a ground support device for providing a stable interface using at least three contact points with the ground or substrate beneath the crutch-walker.
 Another aspect of the present invention is a method of supporting a user with a combination crutch-walker. The crutch-walker is stabilized by establishing at least a three-point contact with the ground or substrate supporting the crutch-walker. Then, the user's arms are extended locking the user's elbows through the use of a weight distribution device.
 The present invention, as seen in
 Also connected to each vertical frontal corner post or members
 These pieces taken in conjunction create a U-shaped upper support frame A surrounding the user across the front and on both sides. This shape allows the user easy rear access to the crutch-walker. It also gives the user the option of positioning himself towards the front or rear of the device.
 Attached to the upper support frame A are two vertical body supports
 Each vertical body support
 The vertical body supports
 The lower support section B is similar in shape and orientation to the upper body support section A. The lower support section B is connected to upper body support section A at the four corners of the device
 The lower support frame B is composed of a lower horizontal frontal support
 Also attached to the base of the lower vertical members
 In one preferred embodiment, as described in
 One such variation includes extendable feet
 In another embodiment, brakes can be easily installed using cable or pneumatics lines. These can be run through the interior of the vertical members
 Attached to the base of the crutch-walker are anti-tip safety extensions or bumpers
 The present drawings show the upper body support section A as being vertically parallel to the user's body and the lower support section B as extending outward at an angle. This arrangement allows for the user to receive the vertical supports
 In a further embodiment of the combination crutch-walker
 A combination crutch-walker
 The legs
 To obtain the full benefits of a crutch and a walker, an adjustable handhold
 One advantage of the embodiment depicted in
 While castors
 The present invention admits to many variations since there are a wide variety of different needs and constraints on the part of those who must use either a crutch or a walker. Accordingly, the shape and physical configuration of the present invention is expected to be modified in accordance with the personal needs of those who use the inventive crutch-walker
 In another embodiment of the invention, the vertical posts and horizontal supports of the device
 Although the preferred embodiment and given drawings concern a combination crutch-walker
 Additional embodiments of the invention
 The present invention facilitates a process to stabilize the user's body. It achieves this goal by extending the lower support frame B away from the user's body. This gives the device
 Stability is also enhanced with the addition of extendible feet
 As part of this overall process, the present invention facilitates support of the user's body. It achieves this goal by placing the vertical supports
 While the present invention has been described with reference to certain specific embodiments, it is not limited there to. Rather, the present invention encompasses any adaptations, variations, embodiments, permutations, equivalents, and modifications that would occur to one skilled in the present technology, and being in possession of the present invention. Accordingly, the invention should be limited only by the scope of the appended claims.