After you've had knee replacement surgery, you'll be surprised at how quickly you'll be back on your feet — albeit with the help of a cane. While some people will rely on a walker after having a knee replaced, you can often get around with a cane, provided that you're careful and that you learn how to use this simple device correctly. You can either rent or buy a cane from your local medical equipment service, and it's a good idea to do so in advance of your surgery so that you have the device as soon as you need it. Here are some tips for using the cane as you work to regain your mobility.
Choosing The Proper Hand
In all likelihood, you haven't previously used a cane to get around. This can make the process of learning how to use this device seem daunting, but it's really quite simple. You shouldn't automatically hold your cane in your strong hand; for example, if you're right-handed, this isn't necessarily the hand for your cane. Rather, you should aim to hold the cane in the hand on the opposite side of your recently replaced knee. This means that if your right knee was replaced, you should hold the cane with your left hand.
Practice moving around a room in your home before you attempt to walk outdoors or negotiate stairs with your cane. You'll soon get comfortable with the rhythm of walking with your cane. Try to move the cane and your weak leg forward together. As they move, you'll remain steady on your non-operated-on leg, and once you place the cane down, you'll feel even more stable. Don't make the mistake of putting the cane too far out ahead of you. It should only be in front of you a few inches so that you can easily remain balanced.
The most challenging part of getting around with a cane is using it on the stairs, but this, too, will be easy with a little practice. Remember the rule "good up, down bad." This means go up the stairs with your good leg first, and then follow with the bad leg and the cane. When descending the stairs, drop your bad leg and the cane down first, and then follow up with your good leg. It's best to avoid trying to skip steps; you should have both feet and your cane firmly on one stair tread before you attempt the next stair.
If you're looking for the right cane or walker to help you get around after knee replacement surgery, check with a medical equipment supplier in your area.Share
28 June 2016
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