Drive Medical 790 DV8 aluminum steerable knee walker is a crutch alternative for people recovering from foot surgery and injury.
While many feel mentally and emotionally devastated by how limiting the crutches are around the house and office, it is widely known that crutches are also slow, clumsy, tiring, painful, and dangerous.
As such, knee walkers have been growing in popularity among orthopedic physicians and physical therapists as a great alternative for patients who either cannot or choose not to use crutches.
But can this Drive Medical knee scooter really help you to get back mobility and independence, to improve your quality of life during foot recovery?
Drive Medical Steerable Knee Scooter with Double Brakes
Drive Medical 790 DV8 knee walker is steerable, which is an important mobility feature that allows users to comfortably rearrange the direction of the walker to where they want to go, including going in reverse.
For some other scooters without the steering function, you have to lift the front end when you want to turn. By doing so, you may lose the stability and fall off the walker, whilst clomping around the house could be annoying especially when people are sleeping.
This Drive Medical scooter is solid and easy to maneuver around. While you can steer responsively and turn in tight places, its sturdy two hand brakes allow you to brake firmly to ensure safety.
This knee walker also has two silver pins near the handles that when pressed down to not allow the back wheels to move, locking them in place.
The deluxe double braking system make this scooter model safer to use than others with only one brake. The two hand operated brakes with push button locks for parking provide stability when user gets onto the scooter, and give user a stable support for standing up or sitting down.
Watch the brief demo video below to preview this Drive Medical knee scooter.
I’ve done comprehensive deep-dive studies on this scooter, including the experience feedback,niggling points and useful tips from Drive 790 DV8 knee walker users that are definitely worth noting to improve your riding experience:
Durable Design With Easy Scooter Assembly Instructions
The well-packed Drive Medical 790 steerable knee walker comes in 3 pieces: the aluminum frame with wheels attached, the seat, and the handle bar assembly.
Capable to accommodate up to 300 pounds, the durable and well-constructed aluminum frame arches back in double tubes together. It has pewter-colored powder coating and black matte painted steering column.
The scooter handlebars are brushed chrome with soft sticky rubber grips that are easy to grip and hang onto, while the wheels have a clear rubber outer casing where you can see through some holes in the black inner wheel.
Putting together the scooter is simple, with Allen hex wrench as the only tool needed to tighten a screw for assembly is provided by the manufacturer.
Useful Tips For New Users:
As some new users who are not very mechanically inclined felt the manufacturer provided specifications and assembly instructions are limited and need clearer directives –
I’ve found this pictorial Medical Drive 790 DV8 assembly instruction manual, alongside the video below which demonstrate the assembly of this steerable scooter, including easy height adjustment of the knee-rest and handle bars without the need for additional tools.
These should come handy if you need step by step guide on the assembly procedure.
Fully Adjustable Scooter For Maximum Comfort
The seat height of this Drive Medical 790 DV8 steerable knee walker is adjustable, so you can raise or lower the knee pad to match your kneeling height and preference. This is an important feature because for other scooters with knee pad that could not be adjusted, user may find them a bit too low to the ground resulting strain on the knee that used to scoot around with.
You can determine the right seat height that works for you when you are in a standing position. The non-weight bearing foot should be resting comfortably on the center of the seat pad, while your other leg should be straight on the floor. You can then adjust the handlebar height to correspond with your height.
User found that the knee groove of this scooter is comfortable, long, and easily fitted the walking cast. The cut outs perpendicular to the scooter are useful for getting dressed, rearranging your walker in tight spaces etc but still providing the stability on your hurt foot.
This versatile scooter also serves as a great foot rest to elevate the leg when seated, with some users even used it as a quick temporary seat (with the handbrakes in locked position) when get tired of standing.
Helpful Tips from User Experience:
- While the cushioned leg support is comfortable, some people experienced sore knee after weeks of solid use. For this, some people used folded soft towel/cloth on top of the pad and rest the knee on it, and some users get pad cover to provide extra cushion.
- There are also disturbing yet ‘interesting’ comments, that some users dislike the raised embossed logo [DRIVE] on the knee pad that has caused discomfort by rubbing on their knee, and there were cases that the letters of brand logo [DRIVE] get imprinted on the skin.
Would It Work For People With Height Below 5′ and Above 6′ ?
The seat is adjustable to various heights as is the handlebar. The knee pad on this scooter may be adjusted from 17.5″ – 21.5″ and the handle bars can be adjusted from 33″ – 37.5″.
While it is not straight forward to translate these product specs into direct answer for this frequently asked question:
I’ve done the research and observed this knee scooter has practically worked well as crutch alternative for people with height within the 4’11” to 6’5″ range.
For examples, when the seat is adjusted at the lowest setting, it worked well on 5’1″ Laura Lindberg and 5′ Pat Ciarrocchi, so thus below review from a 4’11” user.
Gary Henson of Texas said, “My wife is 4’11” and the ‘seat’ lowered enough for her to be comfortable. It’s specifically to rest one knee on, and push with the other leg/foot, so you need to be able to rest your leg, starting at the knee on the ‘seat’, with the rest of the leg pointing ‘back’ behind you.. It’s pretty stable..”
On the other hand, it worked well on William Crowley and Brian who are both 6’4”, so thus below review from a 6’5” user.
S. Littlefield from Missouri City of Texas said, ‘I’m 6’5″ tall and the height of the knee pad and the handlebar are perfect for me at their highest setting. This is a very comfortable way to deal with a difficult medical issue.’
Indoor Maneuvering With Drive Medical 790 Knee Walker
When you have foot surgery or injury, the common worry is you will be laid up on the couch or bed after losing your mobility, and you are reluctant to be bumping around the house on crutches.
Knee scooter can enable you to move around the house independently without feeling like you are helpless or unable to do anything for yourself, putting less stress on the family.
The Drive Medical 790 scooter’s compact size of 17 inches in width and 32 inches in depth make it easily access tight spaces and narrow doors – a significant advantage over the bulky wheelchair.
User commented they can quickly adapt to this Drive Medical scooter, easily steer it around the house with smooth rolling, and have their independence back to carry on household activities without problem. Below some sample feedback:
Minja from Sugar Land of Texas commented, ‘This knee walker is a wonderful invention. I can cruise around the house on my tile and hardwood floors with ease while navigating through the typical furniture and kitchen obstacles.’
Happy Girl from Palm Desert of California said, ‘The locks on the brakes work well for standing and doing dishes, cooking, makeup, etc. I simply lock, turn scooter sideways and slip my knee in the groove in the middle.’
Titoc shared personal experience of using this knee scooter in bathroom: ‘It is awesome for helping me get into the shower. I lock the brakes, balance on my bad leg and lift my good leg with the help of a shower handle, over the shower threshold, and sit down on a shower stool.’
This knee scooter is also great for quick commute within building with long indoor distance, as testified by people who have used it in hospital, school, and shopping malls.
The wheels are hard and covered with a thin plastic, in which user feedback these wheels do not leave any marks on the floor, including on tile, hardwood, cork, vinyl flooring, and carpet.
But knee scooter does have its limitations, though, with moving up or down stairs is a key restriction. Workaround solution wise, there are people whose family member helped to bring the scooter upstairs / downstairs, while there are also users who bought additional scooter to have one on each floor because they wanted the freedom to be able to use it on both floors without depending on another person.
If you have foot surgery / injury and need to move up and down staircase frequently, then I’ll suggest you also check out iWalk 2.0 hands free crutch to make an educated decision.
Helpful Tips from User Experience:
- Always have both hands on the handlebars to control the steering.
- Be extra careful when transitioning from anything (e.g. bed and chairs) to get on the knee scooter. Set the parking brakes on and thumb lock them for stable support, to avoid falling.
- Be extra careful over the edge of a carpet, and slow down when transitioning from one surface type to another, e.g. tile to carpet.
- While the Drive Medical 790 scooter is well built, maintenance wise it is recommended to check the knee scooter parts periodically and tighten the screws when you notice them becoming loose.
Foldable Steering Column For Portability and Storage
Staying completely housebound after your leg surgery / injury is a nightmare to deal with, and the thought of using crutches going outdoor scared many people off.
A knee scooter not only let you move inside the house with ease, but it also allows you go outside the house and live your life.
The 19 lbs Drive medical 790 steerable knee walker is fairly lightweight and collapsible, with the handle can easily fold down to fit in the backseat or trunk of car when you go outdoor.
Just in case you wonder how do you get yourself into the driver’s seat after you load your scooter:
some people use crutch for a few steps to get in, and some simply hop to get in the car.
If you take the scooter on airplane flights, ask the carrier is the only way to be certain how they will handle your scooter, while refer below comments from user Raymond Paki based on experience with Jet Blue and Southwest airlines:Both times was told I could not store in overhead nor would they store on plane. Had to be put with all the other wheelchairs and strollers in cargo, no charge because it is a medical assisting device. After landing they had it waiting so instead of waiting for wheelchair service which I have been told could take a long while I hobbled out and use my scooter… I did wrap handle with bubble wrap, especially the hand brakes, lowered the handle and secured down to the center bar with bungees. It worked great!
Getting Outdoor With Drive Medical 790 DV8 Knee Scooter
This 4 wheel Drive Medical scooter also does great outdoor on smooth surfaces, sidewalk, patio, paved areas where users found it remain sturdy and stable when move around. People have used it on parking lots, handicap ramps, getting from the car to the front door, and so on.
This knee scooter does not roll as well on rougher surfaces like grass and lawns, though.
Furthermore, experienced users have strongly advised to really watch out for rocks, cracks, seams, holes, thresholds etc because that may abruptly alter the direction of travel, and cause user to lose control and fall – as happened before on some users.
For example, when a stone or a hole stops one of the front wheels, the other wheel has a tendency to turn because your forward momentum is still pushing the scooter. When that happens, the scooter is not stable.
Make sure both your hands hold the handlebars stronglywhen you go over such uneven areas, especially if you do it at an angle as it will rip the handlebars out of your hands.
Here are some outdoor related user reviews:
Ruby1969 said, ‘I agree wholeheartedly with other reviews that it is best used on smooth surfaces. Small rocks, twigs, cracks in the sidewalk can cause it to abruptly turn out. As long as you are observant of this factor, pay attention, and hold on with both hands, you will be fine and not fly off of it as some may suggest. I sought out bike paths to walk my dog.’
Dachshund Mom from Frisco of Texas commented, ‘Anything on the ground can cause problem if you roll over it.. I make CERTAIN when I am encountering anything like this, I have my weight shifted OFF the scooter and ON to my good leg. This is a must as you begin to get more agile on the scooter. I realize from other reviews and from my own experience, you could hurt yourself with a fall off of this device, but I am not giving mine up, it is the best possible option if you have a foot or ankle issue and can’t bear weight. And in all fairness, I feel that crutches are just as “accident prone” if not more.’
Helpful Tips from User Experience:
- Do not get over confident when you are riding knee scooter outdoor (it is easy to go fast), and be extra alert on uneven surfaces.
- Do not wear wide-legged pants and clothes that dangle down, as they can get caught in the rear wheels and cause you to fall.
- Be extra careful and slow down when transitioning from one surface type to another, e.g. pavement to gravel, crossing raised thresholds, etc.
Alongside all the fine attributes of Drive Medical 790 DV8 Steerable Knee Scooter, it is not surprised to see some user reviews pointing out on some limitations of this scooter, since no product is perfect.
At the end of day, following a foot surgery / injury, people are looking for best solution to move around independently without significant alteration of lifestyle during the recovery process.
Stumbling around on crutches is painful nightmare, large bulky wheelchairs are difficult to navigate and transport, while hand grip medical walkers are exhausting and slow especially when you have to go any distance.
For Drive 790 DV8 scooter users, apparently the pros outweigh the cons, as evident by its 4.5 out of 5.0 stars rating based on 1,478 customer reviews.
It is not perfect, but users love it, as you can see from >> these Drive 790 scooter user reviews.
Biggest Suggestion From drive medical 790 dv8 aluminum steerable knee walker Users:
Add a storage basket to the scooter handlebars to make it much easier to carry things.
Some people question why DV8 scooter does not come with a basket, without recognizing the fact that not all people prefer to have basket on their scooter. For example, there are guys who said there is no way for them to scoot ‘black granny style scooter with a basket’ around the office, and some do not want to pay for an accessory that they don’t use.
While cup holder (attached to the scooter’ horizontal handle bar as illustrated in this review and demo video by DV8 scooter user Linda from Boston) and LED flashlight for late night trips are among the additional accessories that people purchased and attached to the scooter handle bars – a basket is still by far the most popular accessory that people added on.
Hooking a basket onto scooter handle bar not only helps to carry things (like water bottles, laundry, purse, and other essential belongings that you need to carry around), but it also helps safety wise because you should not ride the scooter with only one hand on handlebar (that risk tipping over) while the other hand carrying things.
Most Drive DV8 scooter users who purchased a basket recommended Sunlite Standard Mesh Bottom Lift-Off Basket (available in various color) in their reviews.
Where To Buy Drive Medical 790 DV8 Steerable Knee Walker
For those who have scheduled foot surgery, it is recommended to get a knee scooter prior your surgery to get some practice, and you can already have the scooter ready for immediate use after your surgery from day one.
Most foot surgery / injury involve no weight bearing for 8 to 16 weeks. For some cases, the patients are not sure how long the recovery time would take.
With the typical monthly rental fee of knee scooter is $100 to $150 a month, it makes more financial sense to buy a new scooter instead of renting a well-used scooter. Moreover, some users found the rented scooters were not well maintained / serviced.
You can purchase Drive Medical 790 DV8 steerable knee scooter at Amazon.com with Free Shipping”, just as these buyers did:
J2dizzle shared, ‘The rental in SoCal is about $130/month for a similar device… I will need it for several months, so this made more financial sense.’
Rescuebird said, ‘I saved a bundle on Amazon compared to the same models in the brochures in my orthopedic surgeon’s office’.
Drive Medical 790 DV8 knee walker is #1 Best Seller at Amazon under the categories of ‘Crutches’ and ‘Walker Accessories’.
It received an impressive 4.5 out of 5.0 stars rating based on massive 1,478 customer reviews that you will learn more useful tips and user experience on this knee scooter – as shown below.
Reviews Summary: The Verdict
Many users describe Drive Medical 790 DV8 Steerable Knee Walker as a “Life Saver” and “Godsend” that they don’t know what they’d do without this crutch alternative.
We highly recommend this solid knee scooter to help you gaining back the independence and mobility following your foot surgery / injury, to improve your quality of life.