It appears you have not yet Signed Up with our community. To Sign Up for free, please click here....



Knee & Hip Problems Message Board
Post New Thread   Reply Reply
LinkBack Thread Tools
Old 06-12-2013, 08:18 PM   #1
Senior Member
(female)
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Northeast Texas
Posts: 207
texasmary HB User
Question Why use cane on opposite side?

I keep seeing instructions to use a cane on the opposite side from the knee that has been replaced. Just wondering why. I have been using my cane in my right hand for years, and my right knee is the wobbly one. Now it looks like I will have to retrain myself to use the cane in the left hand after my surgery???

 
Reply With Quote
Old 06-12-2013, 08:36 PM   #2
Senior Member
(female)
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Northeast Texas
Posts: 207
texasmary HB User
Re: Why use cane on opposite side?

Okay, I have read some more and understand the logic behind using a cane in the opposite side as the bad knee. But how do I relearn this habit? Anybody have suggestions -- or encouragement? On the subject of canes, any recommendations on whether offset handle or derby handle works best?

 
Reply With Quote
Sponsors Lightbulb
   
Old 06-13-2013, 07:28 AM   #3
Senior Veteran
(female)
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Minneapolis, MN USA
Posts: 822
Silver Swan HB UserSilver Swan HB UserSilver Swan HB UserSilver Swan HB UserSilver Swan HB UserSilver Swan HB UserSilver Swan HB UserSilver Swan HB User
Re: Why use cane on opposite side?

Hi texasmary:
I watch a lot of old movies on TCN and have been amused to note that actors in some films use the cane incorrectly. Before I had the hip replacements I would never have thought of canes and how to use them. I guess the reasoning is that the strong leg needs extra support in order to help the operated leg. I should look this up on the Internet - such a great source of information.
__________________
Had two hip replacements about a year apart - the last one being August 2009.

 
Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to Silver Swan For This Useful Post:
texasmary (06-13-2013)
Old 06-13-2013, 10:03 AM   #4
Veteran
(female)
 
Kaji's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2012
Location: South Florida, USA
Posts: 435
Kaji HB UserKaji HB UserKaji HB UserKaji HB UserKaji HB UserKaji HB UserKaji HB UserKaji HB UserKaji HB User
Re: Why use cane on opposite side?

Not being an expert (except that I've been using a cane daily for six months), holding the cane on the injured or weak side doesn't give nearly as much support as opposing it. When I got it I looked online for 'how to use a cane' and they said to do it that way, so I just did it from the beginning... Sometimes I switch hands because I'm carrying stuff and I automatically pick it up with my cane hand, and it feels way less stable. It probably helps that I'm left-handed and it's my left leg that's dud, so I have my dominant hand free for opening doors etc.

I started with a curvy wooden handled cane and I liked the smooth feel of the wood - but when I got a foam offset handled cane it didn't take long to realise that they're MUCH more comfortable to use. It's a bit of an adjustment to change from one to the other because you hold them differently, but the foam handle is sooooo much more easier on your hand and the back curved handle is very stable. (and they come in lots of really cool patterns, not just hospital gray/black. I'm a girly-girl, so if I had to use a cane, it was going to be pretty...)
__________________
~ asthma, allergies, anxiety, arthritis, back problems, high blood pressure, fibromyalgia

Last edited by Kaji; 06-13-2013 at 10:05 AM.

 
Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to Kaji For This Useful Post:
texasmary (06-13-2013)
Old 06-13-2013, 10:41 AM   #5
Senior Veteran
(female)
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Minneapolis, MN USA
Posts: 822
Silver Swan HB UserSilver Swan HB UserSilver Swan HB UserSilver Swan HB UserSilver Swan HB UserSilver Swan HB UserSilver Swan HB UserSilver Swan HB User
Re: Why use cane on opposite side?

Hi Kaji:
What an interesting discussion about canes of all things! Who knew there was so much to talk about concerning them?

I have a sponge handled cane and it is sort of L-shaped on the top. I just love it and never had any other kind.

I never dreamed that some day I would be using a cane and glad of it. It gives stability when walking in parking lots. In stores I use a shopping cart as a stabilizer and just love them.

Years ago I would tell my grand daughter that I would put a flower on my cane for her wedding - never dreaming that I would ever take to using a cane. Well now I do when I go out of the house (can't use one inside because we have 2 Boston Terriers that bark at it as they do at all cleaning tools like vacuums) and I don't mind a bit.

As for the wedding - that recently was held in another state so I chose to stay home - it being too complicated to travel by plane these days).
__________________
Had two hip replacements about a year apart - the last one being August 2009.

 
Reply With Quote
Old 06-13-2013, 10:50 AM   #6
Veteran
(female)
 
Kaji's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2012
Location: South Florida, USA
Posts: 435
Kaji HB UserKaji HB UserKaji HB UserKaji HB UserKaji HB UserKaji HB UserKaji HB UserKaji HB UserKaji HB User
Re: Why use cane on opposite side?

We have four cats, and when I got the cane they were TERRIFIED of it. If I picked it up, they'd run away with their tails between their legs, poor babies... and woe betide me the days when I was too tired and sore to move around the apartment without it - I wouldn't have a cat in the room with me all day. But now they're used to it, it's just part of the furniture - I caught one of them rubbing her head on the foam handle the other day, and nearly knocking it down off the shelf. They're more likely to wander around in front of me and try to trip me up than to run away from me nowadays... It was tripping over a cat that destroyed my knee in the first place! But I love them anyway... I'm obviously much younger than you, and I was very embarrassed to have a cane (everyone would say 'oh, you're too young to need that, what shame... etc.) but now I just take it for granted. I do wonder how much I 'really' need it though - but then I have a day when I can barely get out of bed and I KNOW why it's there... before I had it, I spent at least a couple of years leaning on every available windowsill, wall, or railing.
__________________
~ asthma, allergies, anxiety, arthritis, back problems, high blood pressure, fibromyalgia

 
Reply With Quote
Old 06-13-2013, 11:09 AM   #7
Senior Veteran
(female)
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Minneapolis, MN USA
Posts: 822
Silver Swan HB UserSilver Swan HB UserSilver Swan HB UserSilver Swan HB UserSilver Swan HB UserSilver Swan HB UserSilver Swan HB UserSilver Swan HB User
Re: Why use cane on opposite side?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kaji View Post
We have four cats, and when I got the cane they were TERRIFIED of it. If I picked it up, they'd run away with their tails between their legs, poor babies... and woe betide me the days when I was too tired and sore to move around the apartment without it - I wouldn't have a cat in the room with me all day. But now they're used to it, it's just part of the furniture - I caught one of them rubbing her head on the foam handle the other day, and nearly knocking it down off the shelf. They're more likely to wander around in front of me and try to trip me up than to run away from me nowadays... It was tripping over a cat that destroyed my knee in the first place! But I love them anyway... I'm obviously much younger than you, and I was very embarrassed to have a cane (everyone would say 'oh, you're too young to need that, what shame... etc.) but now I just take it for granted. I do wonder how much I 'really' need it though - but then I have a day when I can barely get out of bed and I KNOW why it's there... before I had it, I spent at least a couple of years leaning on every available windowsill, wall, or railing.
HI again Kaji:
I used to have a cat too but she has crossed the Rainbow Bridge. I now am learning about dogs. Fortunately our dogs do not trip me up but I am very careful where I put my feet, being aware of how fast this could happen.

Years ago I would have died having to use a cane but when one has joint replacements one gets so used to using walking aids that I no longer care what anyone else thinks - and besides, very few are looking at this old lady anyway!

People have been very nice about helping me if I need any help - such as right after getting the new hips I would on occasion drop my change on the floor at the grocery store and there were several that picked them up for me. So thoughtful I thought. People were very nice if asked for help (most of the time). I just wasn't able to bend to the floor to pick up the coins.

By the way, you keep using that cane when you think you need it. (Years ago fashionable men used to have canes that they used for walking about even though they did not need them. It was stylish!)
__________________
Had two hip replacements about a year apart - the last one being August 2009.

 
Reply With Quote
Old 06-13-2013, 07:49 PM   #8
Member
(female)
 
fleafly's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: IL
Posts: 51
fleafly HB User
Re: Why use cane on opposite side?

I have needed the use of a cane or a single crutch on and off for much of my life. The cane (or crutch) is used on the strong side to balance and support you as you transfer your weight onto the weak leg. When you use the cane properly, it helps to off-load weight from the weak side. So, when stepping forward with your weak leg, the cane moves forward at the same time. Step weak leg/cane, step strong leg, step weak leg/cane, step strong leg, etc. If you need extra support because the weak leg is extremely weak, then experiment with the different cane styles or consider using one crutch.

I find the derby handle offers the best comfort and the greatest support. I use one with a padded (not gel) handle. I find that the "C" canes and bariatric/offset canes work fine for balance, but if you need to really support yourself, it is more difficult to get the same sort of sturdy support that you would get with a derby. I think I also prefer the derby handle because I can hook my index finger around the front of the grip to keep my hold steady.
__________________
Best wishes to all, FleaFly

"The way I see it, if you want the rainbow, you gotta put up with the rain." ~ Dolly Parton

 
Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to fleafly For This Useful Post:
texasmary (06-13-2013)
Old 06-14-2013, 06:54 AM   #9
Senior Veteran
(female)
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Minneapolis, MN USA
Posts: 822
Silver Swan HB UserSilver Swan HB UserSilver Swan HB UserSilver Swan HB UserSilver Swan HB UserSilver Swan HB UserSilver Swan HB UserSilver Swan HB User
Re: Why use cane on opposite side?

Hi fleafly:
I wasn't familiar with the term "derby" for a cane handle so just looked it up. What an interesting look and news to me! My cane has a foam padded grip and is straight out at the side like an "L" shape. I find it very good for my use and suits me. Amazing what we can learn from this Forum.
__________________
Had two hip replacements about a year apart - the last one being August 2009.

 
Reply With Quote
Old 06-14-2013, 02:20 PM   #10
Member
(female)
 
fleafly's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: IL
Posts: 51
fleafly HB User
Re: Why use cane on opposite side?

Yes, that's true. I'd forgotten about those L-shaped canes. I guess another reason I prefer the derby cane is because of the little curl at the front end. The L-shaped canes don't have that. That's where I hook my index finger - around that little curl - to keep a good grip on the cane. My biggest issue with all canes is that when you want to rest it somewhere, at a restaurant or at a store, for example, it never stays put. I lean the cane, try to hook it to something, or squeeze it where it shouldn't go anyway, but almost with out fail, it clatters to the floor, letting everyone around me know that I'm there! A nuisance, but not the end of the world.

A folding cane can be handy at times. They come with different handles, but usually the derby handle. But once folded, where does one put it? Too big for a pocket or a purse. So, one more thing to carry. It's not always convenient, but it beats not having one when you need it.

BTW, I think the term "derby" comes from the style of cane that men typically had with them when they attended the famous Kentucky (and other) derby. Men often used a cane as an accessory rather than as a tool to prevent falls.
__________________
Best wishes to all, FleaFly

"The way I see it, if you want the rainbow, you gotta put up with the rain." ~ Dolly Parton

 
Reply With Quote
Reply Reply




Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off




Join Our Newsletter

Stay healthy through tips curated by our health experts.

Whoops,

There was a problem adding your email Try again

Thank You

Your email has been added








TOP THANKED CONTRIBUTORS



SweetPeainSF (48), janewhite1 (47), Silver Swan (32), jennybyc (26), SpineAZ (24), Grumpyathome (21), james079 (20), ldy12 (19), tiredbeinsick (17), glennxyz (17)

Site Wide Totals

teteri66 (1180), MSJayhawk (1013), Apollo123 (909), Titchou (856), janewhite1 (823), Gabriel (763), ladybud (755), midwest1 (671), sammy64 (668), BlueSkies14 (607)



All times are GMT -7. The time now is 04:10 PM.



Site owned and operated by HealthBoards.comô
Terms of Use © 1998-2014 HealthBoards.comô All rights reserved.
Do not copy or redistribute in any form!