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Thread: Should i move to quad cane(s)?

  1. #1
    Senior Member mr_coffee's Avatar
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    Should i move to quad cane(s)?

    Hello everyone, after watching Dan it made me want to use a quad cane, or canes, I walked with 1 forearm crutch, if anyone saw the video, it wasn't very pretty. I'm walking with the HUGO now, so by me switching to say 2 quad canes, would that be advancing? then later going to 1 quad cane? rather then using the Hugo all the time? I realize I cant be functional very well with 2 quad canes, and trying to carry a back pack around but by next fall I need to not be using a walker at all. Because i'll be going down to penn state main campus in state college and that place is huge. So i'll be taking a bus everywhere, and it would be alot nicer to try to get a quad cane up in a bus rather then a walker. Do I need hip flexor in my left leg though to use a quad cane? When i walked with 1 crutch i had to put the crutch on my good side (my right) rather then my left, but that made no sense because it was putting all the pressure on my bad leg, which was really killling my knee but I tried to walk with the crutch on my bad side and i coudln't do it. ANy suggestions?
    Injured:10-16-04
    C7/C8, T1 incomplete;


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  2. #2
    I started using a quad cane after about 5 month's I was on a walker before. I just used 1 it was a big step and really hard trying to keep my balance. even today I use a single cane but I've tried 2 and I can go pretty good.
    Don't know what to tell you, Ask your PT mine told me too when I asked about it, said if I thought I could to try it but I had used it with her several times during therapy

  3. #3
    Senior Member mr_coffee's Avatar
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    Thanks, my therapists are kinda out there...I think i'll tell them I want to try
    Injured:10-16-04
    C7/C8, T1 incomplete;


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  4. #4
    moving from walker to quad canes were a challenge at first, but definitely good for strengthening my legs. I started off just doing it in therapy, and then tried it around the house. For longer distances or to carry stuff around I use a rollator. I found that the quad cane was easier in some ways but more challenging in others, compared to the loftstrand crutches. Talk to you PT and see if you can try out the quad canes.

    I agree with you cory, the cane seemed a lot lighter than the walker and easier to get around with public transportation.
    Daniel

  5. #5
    Hey, Good question regarding canes, crutches and walkers.
    My daughter started out with a walker, then progressed to crutches and later used ski poles during therapy. Now she is using a pair of crutches at home and a pair of quad canes during therapy. Her P.T. said that the crutches should be used at home for safety, but her gait appears better with canes as oposed to crutches. Safety is definitely an issue because canes appear to provide less support than crutches. My daughter's is 11-months post SCI C6. I know what you mean about asking your p.t, sometimes one p.t. says one thing and the other says another.

  6. #6
    Senior Member mr_coffee's Avatar
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    well if she is only 11 months post and walking with canes, she is in great shape! tell her to keep up the good work
    Injured:10-16-04
    C7/C8, T1 incomplete;


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  7. #7
    Corey, people typically use one cane or crutch on the good side as it allows you will have the cane/crutch on the ground and weighted while you are weighting your weak leg. It's a bit counter-intuitive but is what works, and is why you can't walk with only one crutch on your weak side.

    You don't mention two crutches, have you done that? Because of the cuffs you will have better support than quad canes, especially if you start to lose your balance. Doing a four-point gait with crutches is a pretty functional gait pattern and a good stepping-off place for less support as you continue to improve. In my experience, I found crutches to be more functional than quad canes. I also used ski/trekking poles for a little while when I was transitioning from crutches to a cane, and still use them for hiking trails when I venture out on them.

  8. #8
    Thanks, you guys are very encouraging. What a long journey this has been! Bruce, what and when was your injury? My daughter, 15, is an incomplete quad and is walking with the assistance of crutches. It is true that there are many incomplete quads who do walk, but unfortunately some therapy centers steer you away from the thought, fearing that if it doesn't happen, you will be let down. If you sit in your chair 24-hours a day, your chances of walking again will not be very good. It's like telling a fat person to sit on the couch and wait...maybe over time they will lose weight. Keep up the hard work! It pays off!

  9. #9
    mom01, I was injured five years ago, March 2001, C6 injury in a skiing accident. Just yesterday, I was looking at videos of me walking from four and two years ago, which inspired me to shoot some of me today. I am going to edit them down and post them soon.

    What was remarkable is how much progress I have made. Four years ago, I was using a walker and KAFO and walking oh so slowly: walker ...... step ....... step ....... walker ......... step ......... step ........etc. Two years ago I was using crutches and walking much faster, relatively speaking, though I looked like I was about 85 years old and very fragile. Yesterday, I walked with and without my cane, much much faster. Now, in two years from now will I videotape me running?

    Your point about rehabs is well taken. I started outpatient rehab at the hospital where I was an inpatient. They were trying to teach me transfers and wheelies ... just the skills I needed to live in the chair. I went to the University of Washington and the woman who did my initial assesment told me how they were going to get me back on my feet and exactly what it was going to take. She was remarkably prescient .. and I saw her last summer and told her so. The word is to push for everything you can get, then keep pushing for more. That's no guarantee, but you won't get there without it. Early on, I wasn't very hopeful that I'd walk, but I also thought if it was possible I'd do it. If it wasn't, I would at least know I tried. I know I'm lucky, as is your daughter, and as are all those others who are walking or regaining walking.

    I have a 15 year old daughter who had a bad knee injury last fall, and I've hurt for her. How much more painful it must be for you, I can hardly imagine.

    I wish you and your daughter the very best.

  10. #10
    Bruce and the rest of you out there. THANKS for the encouragment. I know it is werid that I am writing rather than my daughter, but she internalizes her thoughts, and I feel better when I share them. For the most part my daughter and I have been on this journey on our own. My husband and 13-year-old son are in a place where the therapy is inadequate, fortunately we will be reunited in a few weeks. Bruce, are you right or left side dominate? My daughter's left side is much weaker than her right. Have you ever tried acupuncture or acupresure? How about water therapy? My fear is that my daughter could become too dependent on crutches, so I encourage the quad cane while in the home and at therapy. thanks for your encouragment.

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