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Old May 24, 2006, 05:59 PM   #1
Ann-Marie
 
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Proper way to use a cane

I just had a cast removed, and need to use a cane for a few weeks. I think I have it all screwed up when I walk. Does the cane go with the good or the bad leg? Do you hold it on the good or the bad side? Thanks
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Old May 24, 2006, 06:14 PM   #2
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Re: Proper way to use a cane

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ann-Marie
I just had a cast removed, and need to use a cane for a few weeks. I think I have it all screwed up when I walk. Does the cane go with the good or the bad leg? Do you hold it on the good or the bad side? Thanks
Can't help with which side to use, but....

You might also want to keep it after you don't need it anymore for walking--my MIL uses one to help pull blackberry vines towards her to get to the blackberries. Helps avoid all the thorns.
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Old May 24, 2006, 10:16 PM   #3
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Re: Proper way to use a cane

Hold the cane on the side of your 'bad' leg. When you walk take a step with your 'good' leg then step with your 'bad' leg & the cane at the same time. Use the cane to take some of the weight off your 'bad' leg as you step. It may take a bit to get the hang of it. Hopefully the cane was fitted for your height or you may end up with a sore back, arm or shoulder & if it was fitted for you they should have also shown you how to use it properly. When going up or down stairs if at all possible have the railing on your 'bad' side & use it instead of the cane, its much safer.
Good luck & feel better soon,
~Diane
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Old May 25, 2006, 05:14 AM   #4
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Cane goes on the GOOD side

At my job I teach people how to walk with canes, crutches, walkers all the time.....
The cane goes on the unaffected or "good" side. You are trying to decrease the weight bearing through the "bad" leg so if you put the cane on the "bad" side it will only encourage you to put MORE weight through the leg. The cane should be adjusted so that the handle comes to your wrist when your arm is down at your side. When you walk move the cane and the bad leg, using the cane to unweight the bad leg. If that is too difficult you can move the cane, then the bad leg and then the good leg. When going up and down the stairs, the bad leg leads when going down the stairs and the good leg leads when going up the stairs. For safety use the rail AND the cane. Good luck!
Lisa
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Old May 25, 2006, 08:09 AM   #5
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Re: Proper way to use a cane

Thanks for the replies. The surgeons office told me to walk with the cane on the good side, and have it step with the good leg. It seems weird to do this. I am using it on the good side, and then having it step with the bad leg. I guess this is the right way. Also, doing the stairs, they told me to remember, the bad go to hell, and the good go to heaven. So, bad down first, and good up first. They gave me a cane that is the longest they had available. I'm 5 ft. 11 in., so it is a tad too short. I am hoping to ditch it within the next 2 weeks after I start physical therapy.
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Old May 25, 2006, 09:32 AM   #6
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Re: Proper way to use a cane

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Originally Posted by Ann-Marie
Thanks for the replies. The surgeons office told me to walk with the cane on the good side, and have it step with the good leg. It seems weird to do this. I am using it on the good side, and then having it step with the bad leg. I guess this is the right way. Also, doing the stairs, they told me to remember, the bad go to hell, and the good go to heaven. So, bad down first, and good up first. They gave me a cane that is the longest they had available. I'm 5 ft. 11 in., so it is a tad too short. I am hoping to ditch it within the next 2 weeks after I start physical therapy.
Hey, when I broke my foot a few years ago, they told me good always goes first.
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Old May 25, 2006, 10:40 AM   #7
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Re: Cane goes on the GOOD side

Quote:
Originally Posted by LMD
At my job I teach people how to walk with canes, crutches, walkers all the time.....
The cane goes on the unaffected or "good" side. You are trying to decrease the weight bearing through the "bad" leg so if you put the cane on the "bad" side it will only encourage you to put MORE weight through the leg. The cane should be adjusted so that the handle comes to your wrist when your arm is down at your side. When you walk move the cane and the bad leg, using the cane to unweight the bad leg. If that is too difficult you can move the cane, then the bad leg and then the good leg. When going up and down the stairs, the bad leg leads when going down the stairs and the good leg leads when going up the stairs. For safety use the rail AND the cane. Good luck!
Lisa

LMD is right. If the purpose of the cane is to provide support while casted, tney you hold it in the opposite hand of the casted leg. You would then advance the casted leg and the cane at the same time, distributing the weight evenly through the casted extremity and the cane.
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Old May 25, 2006, 04:54 PM   #8
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Re: Cane goes on the GOOD side

Just remember, if you have more than 1 cane, treat them well. You don't want a Cane Munity.
Ron
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Old May 27, 2006, 06:56 AM   #9
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Re: Proper way to use a cane

Quote:
Originally Posted by moonstone
Hold the cane on the side of your 'bad' leg. When you walk take a step with your 'good' leg then step with your 'bad' leg & the cane at the same time. Use the cane to take some of the weight off your 'bad' leg as you step. It may take a bit to get the hang of it. Hopefully the cane was fitted for your height or you may end up with a sore back, arm or shoulder & if it was fitted for you they should have also shown you how to use it properly. When going up or down stairs if at all possible have the railing on your 'bad' side & use it instead of the cane, its much safer.
Good luck & feel better soon,
~Diane
Moonstone, this really seems like the logical way. Even though I'm aware that the experts advise the opposite.

I just did an experiment and actually the expert's way is not as awkward as I'd remembered. Although both techniques will take the load off if you lean to your cane, we have to believe that the experts know what they're talking about. We'd better retire the "Moonstone Technique" - I love that name
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Old May 27, 2006, 08:17 AM   #10
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Re: Proper way to use a cane

Hi All. I just came back from Physical therapy. You walk with the cane on the good side, and it moves ahead with the bad leg. I have it down now! Now, the goal is to ditch it very soon, and walk normally.
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Old May 27, 2006, 08:21 AM   #11
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Re: Proper way to use a cane

But doesn't it seem unnatural at first? BTW good luck with rehab
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