Why Do You Use a Cane on the Opposite Side of an Injured Leg?

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Mayo Clinic explains that when a cane is used for extra support because of a leg injury or disability, it is held by the hand opposite the injury to move along with the injured leg for extra support. The cane is lifted at the same time as the affected leg when the stronger leg is firmly on the ground.

Mayo Clinic maintains that using a cane on the opposite side of the body from the injured leg provides optimal support during walking. The cane is firmly on the ground opposite the affected leg when the healthier leg is lifted. The cane adds additional support across from the injured leg for more stability. When a cane is used primarily for additional stability or balance without a side-specific injury, it can be held in whichever hand feels most comfortable.

MedlinePlus states that when using a cane with a four-pronged bottom, it is important to make sure all four tips are on the ground before transferring weight to the cane. The best gait for cane users is as close to normal as possible with the eyes looking forward, not down. Choose a cane with a grip that fits well and is comfortable to use.