Do traditionally recommended cane lengths equally influence walking in patients after stroke?

Disability and health journal

PubMedID: 25153922

Cha YJ. Do traditionally recommended cane lengths equally influence walking in patients after stroke?. Disabil Health J. 2014;.
BACKGROUND
A cane has been used to improve hemiplegic gait by assisting affected limb to smoothly shift body mass toward the sound limb.

OBJECTIVE
The purpose of this study was to compare the walking parameters of patients after stroke while walking using traditionally recommended cane lengths that is fitted to the height of the greater trochanter (GT) or to the wrist crease (WC).

METHODS
Sixteen patients with stroke participated in this study and were randomly assigned to walking with a GT or WC cane length. The two traditionally recommended cane lengths were from the ground to the top of the GT or to the distal WC. Measured walking parameters were foot contact area of the affected side, stride length, center of pressure trajectory, foot axis, foot pressures, and walking velocity when walking with a cane.

RESULTS
Significant differences in foot contact area, foot pressure, and center of pressure trajectory were observed between the two cane lengths (p < 0.05). The GT cane length had a wider mid-foot contact area (by 19.7%), a longer anterior/posterior center of pressure trajectory (by 9.7%), a greater toe pressure (by 26.7%), and a greater mid-foot pressure (by 14.3%) than the WC cane length (p < 0.05). No significant differences were observed for other walking parameters.

CONCLUSION
Hemiplegic walking with cane fitted at the GT might results in more normal walking of the affected limb in patients after stroke.