Author Topic: Canes  (Read 1343 times)

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« on: January 29, 2011, 01:34:55 PM »
I wasn't sure if I should resurrect an old topic or start a new one, so I decided on the easier of the two.

I'm going to start looking for a proper cane for use after surgery...I probably should have been using one for the past year or so anyway but I haven't.  I'm looking for advice on how to go about purchasing one.   I read on the site that it should come to the crease in your wrist when standing straight up but that's about all I know for now.

Is there any advice out there on preferred types, i.e. type of handle, etc.?
Where do you go to look for one...national chains, specialty stores...?

Thanks in advance for any and all responses.

« Last Edit: January 29, 2011, 01:36:02 PM by FlbrkMike »
Dr. Ball
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Re: Canes
« Reply #1 on: January 29, 2011, 02:56:35 PM »
I have 2 canes. One is the heavier hospital sort with standard umbrella like hook handle. What is different is that the tip is a rubber triangular piece with the back corner longer. I find this one very stable - it stands on it's own and great starting out after surgery and feels very secure. I believe you can get this one at surgical supply stores.

I had my daughter's wedding early in my recovery and didn't want to have such a "cripple" looking cane and found a pretty aluminum one at the super market pharmacy though you can find them in any drug store these days. It is very light weight and has a weird handle that takes a bend then is a flat top handle. This one doesn't give me the security that the other one does but I used it when graduating off of aids and use it now again for balance and slight relief on weight bearing reduction because of my fall and back troubles. I find I push down more on it than I did with the heavier cane so my wrist gets tired on long walks. I'm looking to see now if I can get the triangular tip for the lighter cane as a happy medium.
Dr. Su


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Re: Canes
« Reply #2 on: January 29, 2011, 09:32:39 PM »
I used a cane for eighteen months before surgery. Initially I used one of these collapsible fold up sticks, until I found a really good carved hardwood (in that sense it was not a cane as such) stick. If you are going to use a stick, you might as well use something that looks and feels good. Both sticks had flat handles rather than curved.

My advice though, is in the way you hold a stick. When you grip it in your hand, most people would hold it so that the shaft is in front on your hand, next to your index finger. I found that it is better to hold it backwards, with the shaft next to your pinky. That way you are pushing on the stick with the heel of your hand, and the length of the shaft of the stick is in line with your forearm. It is a little strange at first, but it gives you more control over the stick and much more additional push.

Actually, this is the same way that you hold an arm crutch, except that the crutch has a support for your wrist as well.

After surgery, I used two crutches for a couple of weeks, and then one crutch for another three weeks, and then amazingly, I could walk freely and well with no support.

I have still got my hardwood stick in the umbrella stand by the door, along with my hardwood long handled shoe horn which I do not need to use either. I will keep them for when my other hip starts degenerating.

« Last Edit: January 29, 2011, 09:33:19 PM by lopsided »

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Re: Canes
« Reply #3 on: January 31, 2011, 11:10:31 AM »
I found a really nice cane/stick with poly/wood shaft and a brass ball for a handle. I was excited to use it when I was done with my crutches because I thought it looked sharp. I used 2 crutches for 4 weeks, 1 crutch for 2 weeks and expected to use my cane after that.  My Dr. said I didn't need it and just walk normal and "don't limp".  I was sort of disappointed that I did not need to use it.

I did end up using it on occasions that I took long walks or went to the park for the following months.   I found it was helpful when I was tied and it kept me from limping. 
L-BHR - Aug 2008 - Dr. Brooks  Cleveland Clinic Main Campus
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Mi Corazon

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Re: Canes
« Reply #4 on: January 31, 2011, 01:23:28 PM »
I haven't seen the idea of "trekking poles" discussed much here, but, I have a pair and am intent on using them to normalize my gait post-surgery.  In fact, I use them now because my gait is so compromised and they allow me to get out and walk for 30 minutes without so much pain and general discomfort. 

 Trekking poles are like cross-country skiing poles, though you can get a rubber tip for them, they are completely adjustable, and they have a kind of "anti-shock" mechanism that acts like a shock absorber should you be on pavement or solid ground.

The advantage with trekking poles is that you activate your upper body (increased workout) and by using two poles you are able to walk normally and upright between them.  It's more of a workout thing than it is for using around the house, where, likely, a cane or crutches would be more appropriate.

The trekking poles are optimal, IMHO, because you have hand grips and leather straps that lock your grip into place.  You can totally adjust the pole height for the desired comfort zone.  "Lekki" is one of the leading brand names in the business, and REI carries their line, but there are other manufacturers as well.

Really for under $200, considering the total cost of the surgery and recovery, this is a small price to pay for something that is going to minimize the time to get back to normal walking, and also the quality of the gait during the recovery process.  For me, even right now, pre-surgery, this is a great improvement over a cane or trying to walk without assistance.


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