Total Knee Replacement
Well, I’ve been using the cane for a while, as I continue to recover from my knee replacement, and it is not quite as straightforward as you might think. There are a few tricks to this particular game so I thought I would put them down here, and maybe you can get off to a running start.
The whole point of a cane is to assist in balance. It does this by widening your base of support. It has the added advantage of taking some of the weight off of your injured leg.
There are several types of canes, with functional differences.
The most common is the hooked or crook cane. These are the wooden ones with the bent handle. Common, inexpensive and with the warm look of wood, it has the added convenience of being easy to hang over the crook of your arm when you need both hands and are standing.
There is the center balance cane, usually made of metal. It has a larger, flatter handle with a horizontal grip. These canes are almost always adjustable for height, something you don’t find in a wooden cane.
Brass handled canes, with a decorative knob at the top is for lighter duty.
The Quad cane has four feet at the bottom which provide stable support and heavy duty weight bearing.
Sizing the cane is important. With the cane beside you, and your hand on the grip,. Your arm should be bent at about a 15 – 20 degree angle. This way, you can reach out ahead of yourself with a straight arm and make contact with the ground without leaning forward.
How are you going to use a cane? Let me explain.
You need to hold the cane on the side opposite the injured limb. That is, if you have a bad left knee, like I do, you need to hold the cane in your right hand.
Move the cane forward, using mostly your wrist, at the same time as you step off with your injured limb. Your foot and the cane meet the ground at the same time. You are moving forward and you step right past the cane with your good leg. As you move forward, the cane provides some support, taking part of the load off the injured limb. Keep your cane side elbow in and the arm slightly flexed. It won’t take many tries before you can establish a smooth movement.
The beauty of the cane is it allows your injured pin to get some exercise, without stressing it too badly. Your arms and shoulder should be in good enough shape to handle a cane, if you’ve been using your walker much. The load on your arm should be much less because your bad leg is doing some weight bearing now.
Here’s some illustrations which should make it quite clear. Using a Cane
And for those of you looking for additional uses for your cane, try : http://www.canemasters.com
Or maybe even Journal of Non-lethal Combatives