Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

Overview Symptoms Evaluation Treatment specialist Home Care pain in adults pain in children using a cane using a walker using crutches warning signs Underlying Cause Anatomy

Painful Ankle Using a Cane

A cane may help you walk if you have an ankle injury or pain in one leg.

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 Painful Ankle Using a Walker

Last Updated: Sep 10, 2010 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Painful Ankle References
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  2. Irving DB, Cook JL, Menz HB. Factors associated with chronic plantar heel pain: a systematic review. J Sci Med Sport. 2006 May;9(1-2):11-22. [16584917]
  3. Maquirriain J. Posterior ankle impingement syndrome. J Am Acad Orthop Surg. 2005 Oct;13(6):365-71. [16224109]
  4. Mizel MS, Hecht PJ, Marymont JV, Temple HT. Evaluation and treatment of chronic ankle pain. Instr Course Lect. 2004;53:311-21. [15116624]
  5. Salk RS, Chang TJ, D'Costa WF, Soomekh DJ, Grogan KA. Sodium hyaluronate in the treatment of osteoarthritis of the ankle: a controlled, randomized, double-blind pilot study. J Bone Joint Surg Am. 2006 Feb;88(2):295-302. [16452740]
  6. Sontheimer DL. Peripheral vascular disease: diagnosis and treatment. Am Fam Physician. 2006 Jun 1;73(11):1971-6. [16770929]
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