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    Choosing The Right Cane

    How to be properly fitted for a cane:


    Quad canes and standard canes are fit in the same manner. To select the proper length for a cane, stand up straight with your shoes on and arms relaxed at your sides. The top of the cane should reach the crease on the under side of your wrist.


    • Measurements should be taken with your shoes on while standing on a flat surface. Have someone measure you from the ground up to where your wrist bends. Round your measurement up to the nearest 1/2 inch.
    • To adjust the cane, push the spring button in and lengthen or shorten the cane to the correct height.
    • Tighten the collar if one is present.


    With a proper fit, your elbow will be flexed 15-20 degrees when you hold the cane while standing. If the cane is too short, it will cause back stress and imbalance. If it is too tall, it will cause you to lean more on your injured side. A perfectly fitted cane will keep you upright while providing support.




    Ensure that the spring button is fully engaged in the adjustment hole, and the collar is tight before attempting to use your cane.


    How do I use the cane?


    • All canes of any type should be held in the hand opposite to the weak or injured leg, regardless of whether you are right or left handed.
    • Move the cane and weaker leg forward together, keeping your elbow close to your body, while simultaneously bearing weight on the stronger leg.
    • Then, leaning on the cane to reduce weight on the affected leg, the stronger leg should be brought forward.
    • Walk as normally as possible, with even and equal length steps. While this may seem awkward at first, it will provide much safer and more stable walking.
    • Always take short steps. Long steps may cause a loss of balance.
    • If using a quad cane, always make sure the flat side of the base is toward you and the protruding legs are pointing away from the body. You may have to unlock the length adjustment and rotate the base 180 degrees to accomplish proper alignment.


    Walking Up Stairs


    • Stand close to the first step. If there is a handrail, hold onto it and use your cane in the other hand.
    • Step up with the stronger leg. Place this foot securely on the first stair.
    • Lean forward while stepping up to the first step with the weaker leg and the cane. Then repeat one step at a time.

    Walking Down Stairs


    • If there is a handrail, hold onto it and use your cane in the other hand. Step
      down with weaker leg and the cane.
    • Next, step down to the same step with the stronger leg.
    • Remain erect, bending forward as little as possible.

    Sitting Down in a Chair


    • Using the cane for balance, back up in front of the chair until the back of your legs touch the chair seat.
    • Reach back with one or both hands and grasp the arm rest(s) as you bend forward slightly. You can either hold the cane in one hand as you grab the armrest or rest it against the chair before you sit down.
    • Using the armrest and cane for support, slowly lower yourself into the chair.

    Standing Up from a Chair


    • Scoot forward in the chair until you are sitting on the edge of the seat.
    • To use your cane while standing up, grasp the cane in the hand opposite your affected leg.
    • Grasp the armrest with your other hand.
    • Move your weak leg forward a few inches.
    • Using both armrests and the cane for support, bend your upper body forward slightly and slowly stand up.
    • With your weak leg slightly in front, the weight of your body should transfer to the strong leg and cane as you stand.




    Avoid all potential safety hazards, including slippery, uneven, or soft surfaces and objects in your path. If walking on wet surfaces, ensure that the cane is kept as upright as possible. People providing you with assistance should hold on to your belt or waistband, not your arm.


    • Clean the hand grip with mild soap, detergent, or household cleaner. DO NOT use solvents, such as acetone, lacquer thinner, lighter fluid, or turpentine.
    • Replacing Cane Tips (A705, A711-A721, A725) HCPCS Code: A4637
    • The rubber tips on your cane or quad cane should be inspected regularly.
    • Worn or damaged tips should be replaced immediately.
    • Remove existing cane tips when worn.
    • Replace with new tips. Make sure the tips are pushed onto the cane completely.
    • Assure cane tips are the appropriate size for the cane by measuring the width of the cane in inches.
    • The width (diameter) should match the size listed on the cane tip packaging (generally either ¾” or 1”).


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    These articles are not a substitute for medical advice, and are not intended to treat or cure any disease. Advances in medicine may cause this information to become outdated, invalid, or subject to debate. Professional opinions and interpretations of scientific literature may vary. Consult your healthcare professional before making changes to your diet, exercise, or medication regime.