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My name is Thomas Fetterman and I've been using crutches since I had Polio in 1953. In 1988, I invented and patented a new crutch tip technology with a built-in shock absorbing system. My Patented Tornado and Performance gel filled tips are hand assembled in a 12 step process using the best quality natural rubber with only 10 % clay mixed-in, versus the 40-60% clay mixture in other major brands so they last for what seems like forever. Inside we put a thick pad of Absorbalite™ gel that gobbles-up ground shock and makes these tips the hands-down smoothest ride in town. Just about everyone who has tried them has become a dedicated customer. Why not experience the difference for yourself?

The History of Thomas Fetterman's Crutches

The State of Pennsylvania had the foresight to pay for the last three years of my secondary education. With their financial help, in 1968 I graduated from the University of the Arts in Philadelphia with a BFA in Design.

Over the years I have applied my design experience in many ways. However, the challenge to design and build the best forearm crutches possible was, and continues to be irresistible to me. I’d like to say that I am driven to this task by an overwhelming sense of brotherhood for my fellow crutch users. Alas, I confess, I am doing it because I want the best pair of sticks on the planet!

I started using crutches when I was eight years old. By the time I reached my mid forties I developed shoulder pain that increased with activity. To make matters worse I was slipping and falling down far too often. My doctor said I had worn and inflamed shoulder joints due to the constant impact associated with crutch use. He said I should slow down and take aspirin! Instead, I invented a patented crutch tip with a built-in shock absorbing gel system. Slowly but surely my shoulder pain disappeared. I am happy to say that now; almost 20 years later…my shoulders are still pain free! And I fall far less often.

As the word slowly spread about my Tornado and Performance gel tip technology, my sales grew. Now, twenty years later we have sold more than 90,000 pairs. This cash flow has enabled me to develop my Performance Gel Filled Handgrips, Padded Leather Cuff Inserts and finally my LiteStix Arm Cuffs from injection molded nylon.

In the early 1990’s I aligned myself with several manufactures of adjustable forearm crutches. I convinced them of the need for non-adjustable crutches, a simple concept with big rewards for long term crutch users; no more sounding like the “Tin Man” and crutches that last years longer. I developed an easy crutch measuring system, and then installed my proprietary tips, grips and cuffs. I was now in the custom crutch business.

In early 2000 I had the good fortune to team up with TiSport located in Kennewick, Washington, makers of the world’s best titanium and aluminum wheelchairs. They now fabricate the bodies all of my different styled crutches and ship them to us in Philadelphia where we cut them to size and install all the accessories. We are very proud to sell them under our LiteStix label as these are the most technically advanced, handsome and durable crutches available.