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This information has been translated into other languages – see the links at the bottom of this page.
A cane is used for balance or when you can take most or all of your weight through your weaker (sore) leg.
If you’re using an adjustable cane, unscrew the locking ring (if there is one). Then push in the button, sliding the tubing in or out to reach the best position for you. Make sure the push button has fully snapped into the hole and tighten the locking ring (if there is one) after adjusting.
Note: A wooden cane has to be cut with a saw to the right length. Make sure the rubber tip is securely put back on the end of the wooden cane.
Repeat these steps. Remember to use good posture—straight back and tummy muscles in.
Move the cane forward —Move your weaker leg forward—Move the stronger leg forward.
Walk as instructed above.
Note: If possible, don’t use an unstable or very low chair.
If there’s a safe handrail on the steps, use it. The cane will then go in the other hand.
Going Up Stairs
Climb one step at a time using this pattern.
Going Down Stairs
Go down one step at a time using this pattern.
If you’re using a cane after leg surgery your doctor or physiotherapist will tell you when you can stop using it.
To see this information online and learn more, visit MyHealth.Alberta.ca/Alberta/Pages/use-a-cane.aspx.
For 24/7 nurse advice and general health information call Health Link at 811.
Current as of: Oct 21, 2020
Author: Allied Health (Physiotherapy), Alberta Health Services
Care instructions may be adapted by your healthcare provider. If you have questions about a medical condition or this instruction, talk with your doctor or appropriate healthcare provider.