Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

Overview Risk Factors Symptoms Evaluation Treatment questions for doctor specialist Home Care pain and inflammation taking control using a cane using a walker using crutches warning signs Underlying Cause types Anatomy

Arthritis Using a Cane

A cane may help you walk if you have arthritis.

Proper Cane Length
Adjust the cane so that the handle reaches the crease in your wrist while you stand upright.

Using a Cane
Hold the cane in the hand on the opposite side of the leg that needs support. With the cane, you can support some of your weight with your opposite arm. For example, if your left leg needs support, you should use the cane with your right arm. When you step with your left leg, the cane and your left leg should be on the ground at the same time, and you should support some of your weight with the right arm.

Follow these steps:

  • Position your cane one small stride ahead and step forward onto the bad leg. Place weight on your bad leg and the arm that is supported by the cane. Your elbow should be slightly bent as you support your weight.
  • Step forward with the good leg.

Climbing Stairs with a Cane
Climb one stair at a time and rest on one step before moving to the next step.

Follow these steps:
  • Grasp the handrail with the hand that is on the same side as the bad leg.
  • Place your weight on the bad leg and on the arm that is supported by the cane.
  • Step up to the next step with your good leg.
  • Transfer your weight to the good leg.
  • Move the cane and the bad leg to the step where you placed the good leg.
  • Support and stabilize yourself with your legs, the cane, and the handrail before moving to the next step.

Going down Stairs with a Cane
Go down one stair at a time and rest on one step before moving to the next step.

Follow these steps:
  • Grasp the handrail with the hand that is on the same side as the bad leg.
  • Place your weight on the good leg.
  • Place your bad leg and the cane on the step below.
  • Transfer your weight to the bad leg and the arm supported by the cane.
  • Move the stable leg to the step where you placed the cane and the bad leg.
  • Support and stabilize yourself with your legs, the cane, and the handrail before moving to the next step.

Continue to Arthritis Using a Walker

Last Updated: Sep 10, 2010 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
Copyright DSHI Systems, Inc. Powered by: FreeMD - Your Virtual Doctor

PubMed Arthritis References
  1. Cohen MD. Raising expectations for arthritis treatment. Biologic response modifiers are making remission possible. Postgrad Med. 2004 Nov;116(5):41-2, 48-50. [15580919]
  2. Corr M. The tolls of arthritis. Arthritis Rheum. 2005 Aug;52(8):2233-6. [16052534]
  3. Leirisalo-Repo M. Early arthritis and infection. Curr Opin Rheumatol. 2005 Jul;17(4):433-9. [15956840]
  4. Oliver S, Hill J. Arthritis in the older person: part 1. Nurs Older People. 2005 Jun;17(4):25-9. [15968858]
  5. Quinn MA, Emery P. Are early arthritis clinics necessary? Best Pract Res Clin Rheumatol. 2005 Feb;19(1):1-17. [15588968]
FreeMD is provided for information purposes only and should not be used as a substitute for evaluation and treatment by a physician. Please review our terms of use.