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HealthSheets™

Fitting Your Cane

Proper fitting helps you use your cane safely and effectively. When fitting the cane, stand up straight and wear the shoes you will normally use to walk. If your cane doesn’t feel right, ask your doctor, nurse, or physical therapist (PT) to check the fit.

Man walking with cane.
To check fit: Place the tip 2 inches in front and 6 inches to the side.

Getting to know your cane

A cane is often used after crutches or a walker. It helps with balance as you regain strength and mobility. Many different kinds of canes are available. Some have only one tip. Others have four tips to aid balance. Hold the cane on the unaffected (stronger or uninjured) side unless told otherwise.

The cane fits if:

  • Your wrist is even with the handgrip when your arms hang at your sides.

  • Your arm bends slightly at the elbow when you hold the handgrip.

Press the buttons to lengthen or shorten an adjustable metal cane. A wooden cane must be cut to the right height.

 

Precautions

  • The cane should have nonskid rubber tip(s) to prevent slipping. Change tip(s) that look worn.

  • Keep the cane away from your feet so you don’t trip.

© 2000-2017 The StayWell Company, LLC. 780 Township Line Road, Yardley, PA 19067. All rights reserved. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare professional's instructions.